A man who went missing after assaulting 14-month old twin girls was jailed for three-and-a-half years today.

Alan Graham, 35, twice failed to appear in court and two warrants had to be taken for his arrest after the twins came home from a two-day stay in his care with "significant non-accidental injuries".

One little girl had bruising on the side of her head and cheek, while the other had bruises on the side of her head and forehead.

Graham was interviewed and said one of the twins had "hit herself in the face" while swinging his wristwatch, which she was playing with, while the other had "fallen".

He insisted "would never had never hurt them", adding "I love them to bits".

But a paediatrician said their injuries were causing by "adult finger tips".

Falkirk Sheriff Court
Falkirk Sheriff Court

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that the doctor "had no doubt the injuries were non-accidental".

The Crown submitted that the evidence against Graham was circumstantial but "compelling".

After a three-day trial, a remote jury - shown photographs of the injuries - found Graham, formerly of Falkirk, now of Paisley, guilty of assaulting both girls to their injury at the flat, in Burnside Place, Carron, Falkirk, by seizing them and striking them.

Graham, a father-of-three, had denied both assaults.

When he appeared for sentence today after a three-week deferral for the preparation of background reports, his solicitor, Marisa Borland, said he continued to maintain his innocence.

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Mrs Borland said: "He reports to me that he is devastated at being found guilty for these matters but recognises that notwithstanding he requires to be sentenced on the basis of the verdict that the jury returned.

"These offences took place eight years ago."

After missing two previous court dates, Graham was eventually detained and remanded in January this year (2021).

Sheriff Keith O'Mahony said: "But for Mr Graham's absences, this matter would have proceeded to trial a number of years ago.

"There were two warrants taken during earlier proceedings."

Imposing the jail term, he told Graham: "I've listened carefully to what's been said on your behalf.

"The jury have convicted you of two very serious charges. In my view there is no alternative to a lengthy custodial disposal."

Graham showed no emotion as he was led below to the cells.