Police investigated more potential victims of an Arbroath child rapist, The Courier can reveal.
Former soldier Arnold Dousse was recently jailed for seven years at the High Court in Edinburgh for a sickening catalogue of historic sex crimes against children.
It has now emerged that several potential other victims were also interviewed about alleged offences dating back to the 1970s.
But it is understood there was a lack of evidence to prosecute Dousse who spent his retirement working on a voluntary basis with vulnerable adults.
As part of the investigation, police also carried out inquiries at his workplace for evidence of any wrongdoing.
Detective Constable Colin Fraser, Public Protection Unit, Tayside Division said: “Investigation into Dousse’s offending, which spanned several years, was complex and protracted and involved interviewing several potential victims and witnesses which was particularly harrowing for the victims and their families.
“The conviction and sentence is a testament to their bravery in coming forward.”
Dousse, 69, Woodley Caravan Park, Arbroath, was found guilty after trial of four charges of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices against children from 1975 to 1981.
The charges included the rape of one boy when he was just six.
It is understood one of the children that Dousse was found guilty of abusing subsequently took his own life.
Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: “I would be extremely disturbed to find out that a victim of this monster has taken their life while waiting for justice. I can only hope the trial and the sentence is some comfort to those left behind.
“Historical abuse, particularly when it comes to children, taints the lives of everyone it touches.
“Coming forward to speak about these crimes must be the hardest thing a person can do.
“As in other cases of this kind, it’s very likely that there are other child victims who have suffered their whole lives in silence.
“That is a travesty in itself.
“Prosecutors have done an excellent job in getting this man off the streets.
“But if there are other crimes hidden in the past, I expect them to exhaust every avenue to find them.”
Lord Armstrong told Dousse his crimes were “disturbing and grave” and said “society has an abhorrence of such conduct”.
Dousse has only accepted responsibility “for some of these offences” but continues to deny the majority of his sickening crimes.
Dousse’s actions were first reported to police in 1996 and he was interviewed twice and made certain admissions which at that time were not enough to bring criminal charges.
In 2009 Dousse attended completely out of the blue at Arbroath Police Station and made further admissions.
Arbroath East and Lunan Conservative councillor Derek Wann said: “Everyone has a part to play in crimes like this and anyone with any information needs to be brave enough to come forward in order for these perpetrators to be locked up.”