Fort Wil­liam man placed on sex of­fend­ers’ reg­is­ter

The Oban Times - - News - COURT RE­PORTER fort@oban­

A 23-YEAR- OLD Fort Wil­liam man who ad­mit­ted sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a woman has been placed on the sex of­fend­ers’ reg­is­ter and is the sub­ject of a so­cial work re­port.

An­drew James Far­quhar, of 52 Alma Road, Fort Wil­liam, ap­peared at the town’s Sher­iff Court on Tues­day May 18, where he pled guilty to sex­ual as­sault charges which oc­curred on Septem­ber 6, 2015.

The court heard how Far­quhar, who was 21 at the time of the of­fence, was a stu­dent at the West High­land Col­lege in Fort Wil­liam. He had re­turned to Fort Wil­liam on Septem­ber 5, 2015 to be­gin the next aca­demic year.

On the night of Septem­ber 6, Far­quhar was drink­ing with friends and around 1am went to the Base­ment Night­club in Fort Wil­liam.

They re­turned home around 2.30am, after which one of the friends re­ceived a call to say they should have a party at 52 Alma Road. Around 3.45am the vic­tim turned up at the ad­dress with two other friends. She was said to have been drink­ing but, ac­cord­ing to a wit­ness, was not drunk.

The prop­erty con­tained one large and one small sofa. The court heard how Far­quhar had sat on the small sofa with one of his friends.

When that friend went to bed later, Far­quhar and the vic­tim opted to stay up and then went for a ci­garette.

When they re­turned they shared a sofa and sat un­der a blan­ket.

The vic­tim was said to have fallen asleep be­tween 8.15am and 8.30am.

When she woke up, she found a ‘strange hand rub­bing her stom­ach and back’.

The fis­cal con­tin­ued she had pre­tended to be asleep as she was scared what the re­ac­tion would be if she ap­peared to be awake.

She then felt her bra be­ing un­clipped, her naked breast be­ing touched and her trouser zip un­done. The vic­tim then ran to an­other room in the prop­erty where she told the oc­cu­pant what had hap­pened. Later that af­ter­noon she went to the po­lice sta­tion to re­port the as­sault.

The wit­ness ap­proached Far­quhar, who ap­peared to be asleep on the sofa, and told him what the vic­tim had said had hap­pened.

Far­quhar told the wit­ness he couldn’t re­mem­ber any­thing after hav­ing a ci­garette out­side with the vic­tim. He sent her a Face­book mes­sage say­ing the last thing he could re­mem­ber was ‘go­ing for a smoke’ and apol­o­gised to the vic­tim say­ing he was shocked to hear what she had said had hap­pened and that it wasn’t like him.

Sher­iff Eilidh Mac­Don­ald de­ferred sen­tenc­ing un­til Au­gust 15, 2017, for a Crim­i­nal Jus­tice and So­cial Work Re­port and asked for sex of­fender pro­grammes to be looked into.

She told Far­quhar he has been placed on the sex of­fend­ers’ reg­is­ter.

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