A registered sex offender who propositioned two 14-year-old schoolgirls at a McDonald’s in Perth has been fined £400 for failing to comply with a court order.
John Murphy breached notification requirements by not informing police about his circumstances within three days of his conviction.
The 61-year-old was placed on the sex offenders’ register in November 2019, after he admitted approaching two youngsters at the Dunkeld Road fast food diner and asking if they wanted to have sex with him.
He returned to Perth Sheriff Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to failing to comply with requirements of the Sexual Offences Act.
Fiscal Depute Andrew Harding said police went to Murphy’s home in Ballantine Place, Perth, when he failed to get in touch with them within the set time.
Solicitor Billy Somerville asked the court for leniency. “It’s not as if he was avoiding the police or had left the country,” he said.
Sheriff Lindsay Foulis responded: “I appreciate that, but the legislation is there for a purpose.
“We are talking about someone who was almost 60-years-old and approached two 14-year-old girls and made inappropriate suggestions to them.
“And then he did not comply with the sexual offences legislation regarding notification.
“We can’t just tap him on the head and say go away and don’t do it again.”
‘I’m not too old’
At his last court appearance in 2019, Murphy was ordered to complete a community payback order by Sheriff Keith O’Mahony, who noted he had spent six weeks on remand – the equivalent of a three-month jail term.
Murphy was ordered to undergo alcohol treatment as part of an 18-month supervision order.
The incident at McDonald’s happened on September 25, that year.
Depute fiscal Mairi Graham pointed out that Murphy had a walking stick with him at the time.
She said his comments to the teenagers were “clearly about sex” and he had added: “I’m not too old.”
The court heard that Murphy had “ongoing” problems with drink.
Sheriff O’Mahony warned Murphy if the community payback order was flouted in any way, he would have “no option” but to jail him.