Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told him: "The purpose of the legislation is to protect persons in their early teens.
"They are vulnerable and developing physically, emotionally and sexually.
On several occasions, a man claiming to be the soldier’s commander rang her to reassure her he was about to fly to Britain.
But she discovered it was a scam when she arranged for £12,000 to be sent to one of his friends to pay for his airfare to Britain and he suddenly stopped contacting her.
Divorced and lonely, Kate Roberts thought her luck had changed when a charming U. soldier started chatting to her on a dating website.
When he told he loved her, she thought it was almost too good to be true. The ‘soldier’ was in fact a member of a sophisticated Nigerian gang set up to exploit vulnerable women and convince them to hand over money.
Fake love: Kate thought that she had found the man of her dreams but found that calls made to her by the sergeant originated from a mobile phone in Nigeria She made regular payments of thousands via Western Union and even paid cash directly into what she believed was his bank account as he told her he had no money.
"Their willingness to engage in this activity is neither here nor there. "Very early in your communication with the complainer he indicated he was under age.
"He tells you he is under age, but notwithstanding that you continue communicating with him for two or three days, culminating in a liaison at Murray Royal hospital. "It is appropriate to visit custody upon you." Solicitor Hazel Mc Guinness, defending, told Perth Sheriff Court that Gemmell's discharge from the army - where he had a good record - was now inevitable.
Eight months later, Miss Roberts was forced to sell her home to pay off the huge debts.
She said: ‘Aside from losing the money I feel like I’ve lost the love of my life.