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Former Perthshire activities centre instructor sexually assaulted sleeping house guest

Aaron Watt's victim pretended to be asleep while he forced himself upon him following a Christmas night out in Perth.

'Jolly baker' Aaron Watt
'Jolly baker' Aaron Watt. Image: Facebook

A former instructor at a Perthshire outdoor activities centre has been jailed for sexually assaulting a sleeping house guest.

Food blogger and chef Aaron Watt – working at the Dalguise Activities Centre near Dunkeld at the time of his arrest – molested his victim at his home in Perth after a Christmas night out.

The city’s sheriff court heard how the man “lay motionless in fear” when he woke to find Watt lying over him, performing a sex act.

For a harrowing 15 minutes, he kept his eyes closed and pretended to be asleep.

Watt, 24, admitted sexually assaulting his victim while he was asleep and incapable of giving consent at his home in James Street.

Social workers had recommended to the court first-time offender Watt should be fined.

However, Sheriff Alison McKay described the assault as a “gross violation” and said any community sentence was inappropriate.

Invited home after party night

On December 16 2022, Watt – who also has an online food retail business under the name Jolly Baker – was on a Christmas night out with a large group of people including his victim, in his 20s.

The group had a meal before touring pubs and clubs in the city centre.

'Jolly baker' Aaron Watt
‘Jolly baker’ Aaron Watt. Image: Facebook

At about 3am, Watt invited the complainer back to his house, a short walk from the last pub.

They returned home to find one man asleep on a sofa, while Watt’s girlfriend was in the spare room.

“Mr Watt offered his own bedroom to the victim to sleep in, given he planned to join his girlfriend in the spare room,” the fiscal depute said.

The man got under the covers and fell asleep.

DNA match

Just after 5am, he was woken by the feeling of a hand inside his underwear.

“The victim lay motionless in fear. pretending to be asleep,” the prosecutor said.

“When he felt Mr Watt’s stubble he realised who it was.”

Watt performed sex acts on the man using his hand and mouth for about 15 minutes, all while his victim pretended to sleep.

The man opened his eyes to see Watt performing a solo sex act before leaving the room.

Perth Sheriff Court
Perth Sheriff Court.

“The victim pulled his boxers and jeans up before rolling onto his side to face the wall,” the fiscal depute told the court.

“Mr Watt returned to the room five minutes later wearing a T-shirt and climbed into bed and fell asleep, snoring.

“At this point, the victim left the locus.”

He called his mother at 5.40am and became “hysterical” as he told her what had happened.

He also told a friend who drove him home from Perth and he called police

The court heard that DNA matching Watt’s saliva was found on the victim’s body.

Little memory of offending

Solicitor Linda Clark, defending, said her client had no previous convictions and nothing outstanding.

“Notwithstanding the commission of this offence, he continues to be in a relationship with his girlfriend.

“She has been supportive of him throughout.”

Ms Clark told the court: “He remembers very little of the events that night, although he knows that it no excuse.

“He is quite prepared to accept the other person’s recollections.”

Watt has not been out drinking since that night, the solicitor said.

“He is embarrassed and indeed horrified about what happened and about finding himself in court and subject to the registration requirements.”

Ms Clark suggested a community payback order as a direct alternative to prison.

Canoe at PGL Dalguise
Watt worked at the Dalguise activities centre, north of Dunkeld.

Sheriff Alison McKay said she was “very surprised” Watt had been recommended for a financial penalty in a background report.

She told Watt: “You have pleaded guilty to a serious sexual offence which amounts to an abuse of trust.

“It was a gross violation of the victim.

“I have had sight of the victim impact statement today and it is very sad reading.”

The sheriff added: “Whilst there is a community-based disposal available as an alternative to custody, I am not in any way satisfied that that would be an appropriate sentence in this case.”

Watt was jailed for 15 months.

He will remain on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

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