'I'm swithering over sex offender Thomson'

THE chairman of Hearts Supporters' Trust is reconsidering his support for Craig Thomson after the mother of his 12-year-old victim detailed how the footballer sent naked pictures of himself, explicit e-mails and tried to take her on secret drives.

Derek Watson had previously said Thomson, who was fined 4,000 and placed on the sex offenders register for five years, was the victim of a "witch hunt".

Yesterday, he said he was now "swithering" in his support and refused to comment on whether the player should remain with the club beyond this week.

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Pressure was growing on Hearts to sack Thomson, 20, after the chief executive of the charity Children 1st said that there was no place in the team for a convicted sex offender.

Anne Houston said: "There is no place in our society for role models who have been convicted of sexual offences, no matter what other talents they might have."

Mr Watson, who had previously supported the club's decision to retain the player, said the new reports had made him change his mind.

"It does make me change my mind a little bit, swither is a good word. I am swithering at the moment."

He also said that Thomson's position was more tenuous.

He added: "He is in a more difficult position than he was in last week."

Yesterday, the mother of one of the player's victims gave an interview in which she detailed Thomson's behaviour.

The woman, who cannot be named, said the player had been a close family friend who went to school with the victim's elder sister and was well aware of the young girl's age, as he had known her since she was six.

The mother had been unaware of Thomson's "grooming" behaviour until the police contacted her.

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She said the player met the 12-year-old at a party, added her as friend on Facebook and then chatted to her online for nine months from January 2010.

She said: "She would mention that she had been chatting to him and I thought nothing of it.

"I worry that I didn't pick up on that. I wonder if she was trying to tell us something but didn't know how to.

"He had asked her if she had told her big sister they were chatting. He told her he didn't think she should and that he didn't imagine she'd be too happy about it.

"A couple of days in he pushed her into speaking to him in front of the webcam. When I heard the things he was saying to her after the police became involved I was shocked and disgusted.

"Nearly every time he was in contact with her he asked her to take her top off. He moved on to sending pictures of himself naked. She was a 12-year-old girl. It's disgusting."

The girl, who is now 13, said the player's unwanted attention gave her "the creeps".

She went on to say that Thomson would follow her around.Thomson was fined 4,000 and placed on the sex offenders register for five years after pleading guilty to lewd, libidinous and indecent behaviour earlier this month.