A Renton serial sex offender who abused three young girls – one when she was three years old - has today been sentenced to 16 months behind bars.

James Smellie, 68, was convicted of four charges after facing a week-long trial earlier this month. He has received four months in jail for each of the charges.

Smellie, of New Cordale Road, was convicted of offences stretching back to 1972, with the last attack happening 30 years ago in 1987.

He was found guilty of three charges of lewd and libidinous practices and behaviour towards children, one of indecent assault and one of breach of the peace.

The four offences he was convicted of all happened at a house in Renton. At trial, the jury found the case against him not proven on a fifth charge of lewd and libidinous behaviour and practices towards a child at house in Dumbarton.

His campaign of terror began between July 1, 1972 and August 31, 1972 in Renton, where he took an eight-year-old girl by the hand, and lead her to his bedroom. He got her to lie down on the bed and induced her to sit on his lap and instructed her to perform a sex act on him.

Then between October 18, 1975 and October 17, 1981 he sexually attacked another girl aged between three and eight. He induced her to sit on his bed by lifting her onto the bed. He then instructed her to carry out a sex act on him.

A charge of breach of the peace took place on an occasion between October 18, 1984 and August 26, 1987 at a house in Renton, when the girl was aged between 12 and 14. He followed her outside, threw money at her, made a suggestive remark and attempted to get her to return to the property.

The final charge he was convicted of happened on an occasion between August 28, 1986 and August 27, 1987 at a house in Renton where he indecently assaulted a 12-year-old girl, placing his hands underneath her skirt and touching her thigh in exchange for money.

All three of his victims are all adults now aged between 40 and 55 – and had given evidence during the trial from behind screens. During their evidence the court was also closed to the press and public following a direction from Sheriff Maxwell Hendry.