A DUNFERMLINE man has been jailed after admitting engaging in sexual activity towards a teenage girl.

Former Royal Navy worker Peter MacGregor was in a position of trust when he preyed on his victim over a nine-month period while she was aged 16 and 17.

MacGregor, of Halkett Crescent, was sentenced at a court hearing last week – at which a sheriff said the 44-year-old had “extensively and disgracefully” abused the relationship of trust between him and his victim.

MacGregor had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a single charge of engaging in sexual activity towards his victim “on various occasions between December 20, 2012, and September 8, 2013” at a property in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute.

MacGregor appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday after social workers were asked to prepare a background report on his circumstances.

Solicitor advocate Gordon Martin, defending, told Sheriff William Gallacher: “He was left in no doubt by me, and when the case last called, of the likely disposal in relation to this matter.

“The criminal justice social work report does indicate that he would be suitable for a variety of non-custodial disposals but he accepts, and I accept on his behalf, the gravity of this offence.

“I invite your Lordship to take into account his previous good conduct, the fact that his record includes only one previous offence, for speeding, and the fact he has a substantially good work record.

“He was in employment with the Royal Navy for a substantial period. During his employment in the period libelled, he was under certain stresses and strains, and his consumption of alcohol may have had some effect in disinhibiting his behaviour.

“He was drinking more at the time of the offending behaviour. He is in a new relationship, in which he drinks very, very occasionally.

“The fact he is in a relationship, with a supportive family, and is in employment would all, to some extent, be protective factors.”

Sentencing MacGregor to 21 months in prison, Sheriff Gallacher told him: “You are someone who was in a position of trust, and who abused that trust, extensively and disgracefully.

“I have taken into account your past criminal history, the terms of the charge to which you pleaded guilty, and the terms of the social work report.

“I have also taken into account the impact the offending had upon the victim, which was extensive and ongoing. It is difficult to imagine it will be anything other than life-long.

“This was a disgraceful offence involving an abuse of trust, and I cannot properly deal with it other than by the imposition of a significant custodial sentence.”

In addition, Sheriff Gallacher also granted an indefinite non-harassment order barring MacGregor from having any form of contact with the victim of his crime, and placed him on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.