Mar 30 2012 by Lisa Boyle, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
A JUNIOR football star has been placed on the sex offenders’ register after groping a woman in a pub.
Martin Lawrie, captain of Maybole Juniors, grabbed the woman between the legs as she stood at the bar in Smiths.
But unbeknown to him, his actions were in full view of the woman’s husband and son.
Lawrie maintained his innocence over the incident in the Ayr pub, but he was found guilty at the town’s Sheriff Court this week.
His visibly nervous victim, who is in her 40s but cannot be identified, was forced to give evidence in front of him.
She told Sheriff John Montgomery that she had been for a few drinks in the town with her husband, son and his girlfriend on the evening of November 27 last year.
She explained there was a party atmosphere in the bar. At around closing time, she was heading to the toilet but got involved in a sing song with two lads at the bar.
She explained: “The next thing I knew, I felt someone grab me between the legs from behind. It was with some force because it knocked me off balance.
“I didn’t see what he grabbed me with, but I took it to be his hand.
“I was shocked. I went to speak to the barmaid and asked her ‘did you see what just happened?’
“Then I saw my husband and son in some sort of fracas, I heard my husband say ‘you touched my wife.’”
Under cross examination by defence lawyer Peter Lockhart, the woman denied the suggestion that the perpetrator simply patted her on the bottom to move past her.
The woman’s husband gave evidence to say that he had witnessed the incident.
He said: “I ran over and approached him and said ‘you’ve just put your hand between my wife’s legs.’ He said ‘no I never.’ And I said ‘yes you did, pervert.’”
At that point, the husband explained, the doormen of the bar got involved and Lawrie was removed from the premises.
The woman’s son also gave evidence and told the court he felt furious when he saw what happened.
Builder, Lawrie, later claimed to the court he had touched the woman to move her because she was blocking his path to the toilets.
But Sheriff John Montgomery found Lawrie guilty of intentionally or recklessly handled the woman’s private parts over her clothing.
Sentence was deferred on Lawrie, of Whitefaulds Avenue in Maybole, for background reports.