A sheriff has slammed a “Stone Age” dad for a sex attack against a 16-year-old childminder on her first day in the job.
Fraser Duff tickled the girl’s stomach and tried to put his hand up her top at his Angus home after asking her to watch a movie with him.
The 36-year-old has now been placed on the sex offenders’ register and been told he is lucky he is not behind bars for the offence.
Duff, of Yeaman Street, Carnoustie, appeared for sentence at Forfar Sheriff Court after he previously admitted assaulting the teenager at his home on July 9.
Depute fiscal Jill Drummond said he had met the girl in a shop where she worked around two weeks’ previously when she told him of her interest in childcare.
He hired her and had planned to do some gardening on the day of the offence, but the weather was poor so he suggested around noon that they should watch a movie.
While on the sofa, he put his arm around her and then moved his hand to rub her breast over her top, which she became uncomfortable about, the court heard.
Duff then put his hand on her stomach and tickled her, before trying to pull her top up.
The girl texted a friend, who advised her to get out of the house and the teenager went to the shop where she worked, clearly upset and distressed, the fiscal said.
Duff messaged the teenager on WhatsApp around 1.30pm saying: “Sorry about that I forgot myself a wee bit”.
The accused’s solicitor said her client fully accepted his wrongdoing and a background report indicated a high level of regret and remorse.
Sheriff Gregor Murray told Duff: “This is an example of what appears to have been Stone Age behaviour.
“It is not what you would expect in a modern society.”
The sheriff added: “Nonetheless, there are certain things I am obliged to take into account when sentencing you.
“You are a first offender and this occurred not long after you were made redundant.
“In addition, the offence was at the lower end of the scale and there is an alternative to imprisonment.”
Duff was given a 12-month community payback order with supervision and a conduct requirement. He will have to carry out 180 hours unpaid work.
His name will also be added to the sex offenders register for a year.