by Craig Borland
A DALMUIR man who groped one 15-year-old girl and directed sexual comments to another is due to find out his fate later this week.
John Gray sexually assaulted one of the two girls in Dunswin Avenue, and acted in an aggressive and intimidating manner towards the other in nearby Dalmuir Square, on May 29 last year.
Gray appeared in court for sentencing on April 13 after being found guilty of four separate charges, all relating to the same incident on that day last May, at an earlier trial.
And on the day of that trial, Gray made matters even worse for himself by speaking to the victim of his assault within the court complex where the case was being heard.
Gray had been convicted at the trial of uttering sexual comments towards one of the girls in Dalmuir Square and of struggling with police, shouting, swearing, acting aggressively and touching the other girl on her breast and spitting on her body in Dunswin Avenue.
Gray’s solicitor, Douglas Thomson, also told Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Thursday that a social work report ordered after the guilty verdict suggested 38-year-old Gray did not fully understand what had happened in court on the day he was convicted.
Mr Thomson said: “It’s perhaps fair to say that Mr Gray does not present as the most insightful person.
“I canvassed with him whether he really understands what transpired at the trial. Certain comments in the report appear to indicate he does not appreciate the situation that arose, and the verdict of the court.
“Quite clearly this case falls into the range where custody has to be considered.”
Mr Thomson said the social work report suggested a period of supervision, together with unpaid work or a restriction of liberty order, would be appropriate.
But he also said Gray had changed his address from Dunswin Court to Dumbarton Road without advising him or the court – and said he could offer “no explanation in mitigation for that whatsoever”.
Mr Thomson admitted some of Gray’s comments in the course of his trial on February 27 were “frankly bizarre”, and added: “He will probably require a degree of monitoring for some time.”
On the approach Gray made to the assault victim within the court complex on the day of the trial, Mr Thomson said: “It was a brief comment made to a person in the course of her giving evidence. On any view it was an extremely foolish thing to do. It was done without my knowledge.
“Whether the witness spoke to him first is of no concern. He should have put his head down and kept walking – he didn’t, and must accept the consequences of his actions.”
Sheriff Simon Pender agreed to adjourn the case until Friday, April 21, so an assessment could be carried out at Gray’s mother’s home in Dumbarton Road to see if it could support monitoring equipment as part of a restriction of liberty order.
Gray’s bail was continued.