A Glasgow man who touched a police officer’s bottom has been blasted for attempting to downplay the sexual assault as a joke and that ‘boys will be boys’.
Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard that during the pandemic and against public health advice, Mark Halliday, 33, travelled with two friends from Glasgow to Carlisle for a drinking session.
British Transport Police (BTP) said the incident happened as Rangers and Celtic fans descended upon the city to watch a televised Old Firm clash last October 17.
BTP said Halliday spotted the female officer, who was patrolling with male colleagues, as he exited the main entrance of Carlisle’s railway station.
He was said to have deviated from his route to walk directly behind her before touching her bottom.
Halliday was subsequently arrested and BTP said during his police interview he claimed his actions were nothing more than a joke and that ‘boys will be boys’.
Halliday denied the charge of sexual touching, but was convicted on Friday, May 21, and sentenced to a four-month community payback order with a curfew.
He was also ordered to pay court costs of £620, a victim surcharge of £95 and £200 compensation.
Inspector Garry Ashbridge said: “Halliday’s appalling attitude towards women is clear from his response.
“He clearly has no respect for his victim, refusing to plead guilty and attempting to play down a sexual assault as nothing more than a joke.
“Unwanted sexual behaviour of any kind has no place in society and absolutely no place on the railway, whether directed towards the public, rail staff or our officers.
“I would urge anyone subjected to, or witness to, unwanted sexual behaviour on the railway to text us on 61016. In an emergency, always call 999.
“No report is too small or trivial, and we will always take you seriously. Everyone has the right to a safe journey.”