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THE paedophile son of a Scottish knight was jailed for 33 years in Thailand yesterday for preying on young boys.

Teacher James Fraser Darling, 47, whose father, a leading academic - was an authority on Scottish wildlife, was chained by the ankles as he was led away to the cells wearing regulation brown prison shirt and shorts.

The appalling sex acts he was convicted of were carried out on boys from a sea gypsy community at a Thai beach resort.

He was sentenced to five years each on nine counts of separating children from their parents.

He was also found guilty and sentenced to six months on another nine charges of indecent assault, making a total of 48 years six months.

Judge Somrek reduced the sentence to 33 years because Darling had admitted some of the offences.

He drew a deep intake of breath in the dock when the sentence was read.

Darling is the son of Sir Frank Fraser Darling, an Oxford don and expert on Scottish bird-life and Hebridean wildlife, who became chief officer of the Imperial Bureau of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh. He died in 1979.

As the convicted child abuser was led from the court to begin his sentence, he handed out a written statement to waiting reporters.

It read: "The verdict reveals this country to be not a democracy governed by law, but still an unreconstructed police state which fought against us in the Second World War.

"Not only have the Thai authorities abused the rights of a British subject ... but also they have convicted themselves of a crime against humanity."

Darling's mother, Lady Christina Darling of Forres, Moray, died while he was on trial.

His brother Richard, a senior intelligence officer specialising in the war against drugs, works for the Foreign Office in Britain and did not attend the court.

Pervert Darling, a London University arts graduate, travelled the world teaching in Brazil and Sri Lanka before arriving in Thailand four years ago.

The Phuket court had been told that Darling got a job teaching English at a university in the resort.

He rented a beach house beside a community of sea gypsies, and befriended many of the young boys who walked around naked.

He ingratiated himself with the community by buying presents, which included clothes, food, bicycles and even a boat.

The nine boys named in the charges - all under 15 years and one as young as eight - would go with him on sea trips to outlying uninhabited islands where most of the sexual offences took place.

Darling was described as a person who imagined being Emperor Nero in the time of the Roman Empire and fantasised about orgies with young boys.

A book published by the Spartacus organisation - a European group linked to paedophilia - was found in his house, and a chapter inside, written by J Darling, described Roman orgies with young boys.

However, Darling denied that he was the author of the work.

The court's decision was welcomed by FACE, the coalition against Child Exploitation, which has been monitoring suspected paedophiles in Thailand.
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Drummond, Andrew
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 8, 1998
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