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33 YEARS FOR SCOT WHO PREYED ON BOYS; Aristocrat's Thai beach romps with gypsies.

A Scots teacher who preyed on young boys in Thailand was jailed for 33 years yesterday.

James Fraser Darling lured his poverty-stricken victims by showering them with presents of clothes, food and bikes.

He would then take them on sea trips to uninhabited islands where the offences took place.

The Edinburgh-born paedophile was found guilty of taking nine boys away from their parents and sexually assaulting them.

They were all under 15 - the youngest was only eight.

Fraser Darling, 47, whose father was an Oxford don, always maintained he hadn't abused the boys.

But he was convicted by a court in Phuket and was led away to begin his sentence wearing regulation brown prison shirt and shorts and with his ankles chained.

Fraser Darling was an English teacher at a Phuket university and rented a house at Rawai Beach - beside a community of sea gypsies known as the Chao Lay.

They make a living by fishing, diving for pearl oysters and begging.

He got to know them and became friends with many of the young boys - who normally wandered around with no clothes on.

The court heard the teacher believed himself to be the reincarnation of Roman Emperor Nero and he used to fantasise about young boys.

But he denied being the author of a story in a paedophile magazine about sex orgies with pearl-diving boys in Roman times.

It was written by a "J Darling" and a copy of the magazine was found in his house.

But he told the court: "My name is Fraser Darling - not Darling."

Fellow teacher Bruce Stanley, 49, said Fraser Darling was "eccentric" and acted like an uncle towards the boys.

He had been on trips with the Scot and the youngsters and had never seen anything untoward.

But a judge decided Fraser Darling HAD abused the boys. He got five years on each charge of taking them from their parents and six months for each indecent assault - a total of 48 years and six months.

However, the judge cut the sentence to 33 years.

As he was led away from court, Fraser Darling insisted the Thai authorities had "abused the rights of a British subject".

And he said Thailand was an "unreconstructed police state".

Anti-paedophile groups welcomed the sentence, but the shamed teacher still has the right of appeal to two higher courts.

Fraser Darling, who graduated from London University, taught in Brazil and Sri Lanka before arriving in Thailand four years ago.

He told the court his family weren't talking to him because of publicity surrounding the case.

Brother Richard, a senior drugs intelligence officer with the Foreign Office, wasn't at the trial.

And his mother, Lady Christina Darling, of Forres, Moray, died during the hearing.

Their father, Sir Frank Fraser Darling, who died in 1979, was an expert on ornithology and Hebridean wildlife and became chief officer of the Imperial Bureau of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh.
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Author:Ferguson, Iain
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 8, 1998
Words:485
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