Kerr was SNP representative for Kilsyth ward at North Lanarkshire Council but stepped down in 2020 when he was charged with multiple non-recent offences.
At the High Court in Paisley today (2 Dec) he was sentenced to six years imprisonment and added to the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.
The jury found Kerr guilty of offences dating back to 2011 when he was a well-known activist in his North Lanarkshire community and working in a convenience store.
He groped and harassed male youths over the course of the next nine years and was described by COPFS (Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service) prosecutors as “a predator hiding in plain sight”.
The High Court in Glasgow heard how he befriended some of the boys but quickly began sending sexualised messages, despite being many years older, using their trust as cover for his crimes.
One victim told the court: “I thought he was a nice guy. But I don’t see that now.”
The victims, now in their 20s, were subjected to unwanted sexual touching and persistent approaches.
One was assaulted while on a camping trip and attempting to sleep. Another victim was molested at a foodbank.
Fraser Gibson, Scotland’s Procurator Fiscal for High Court Sexual Offences, said Kerr carried out sustained and deliberate grooming of teenage boys.
He said: “Mark Kerr exploited the trust afforded to him by his community roles.
“Conversations and friendships which his young victims believed to be innocent became intrusive and distressing as Kerr pursued his own gratification.
“I commend the men who came forward to report the offences they suffered as teenagers. Their bravery and determination allowed our prosecutors to ensure Kerr faced the consequences of his behaviour.
“Their ordeals have affected them in many different ways but I hope today’s sentence helps them begin a process of closure.
“I would urge all victims of similar offending to report it. We at COPFS will use every tool at our disposal to deliver justice.”
I commend the men who came forward to report the offences they suffered as teenagers. Their bravery and determination allowed our prosecutors to ensure Kerr faced the consequences of his behaviour.Fraser Gibson, Scotland’s Procurator Fiscal for High Court Sexual Offences