Falkirk man sexually assaulted hospital patient who was ‘close’ friend

The incident took place at Forth Valley Royal Hospital during visiting hours
The incident took place at Forth Valley Royal Hospital during visiting hours

A man has been jailed and placed on the sex offenders’ register after he sexually assaulted a “close companion” in hospital.

Robert Robertson (64) admitted removing the woman’s clothing and touching her intimately during a visit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert on November 7 last year.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Robertson, 8 Thornhill Court, Falkirk, had already pleaded guilty to the offences — which the court heard he committed while “heavily under the influence of alcohol” — on September 19, when sentencing was deferred for background reports.

His defence solicitor told Sheriff John Mundy that Robertson had known the complainer, who has since died, for some time and regularly visited her while she was receiving treatment in hospital.

Robertson’s lawyer said his client was “absolutely appalled” by what had happened and added: “It’s clear alcohol played a major part.

“It’s unfortunate he met another friend in the town centre and was heavily under the influence of alcohol when this incident took place.

“The woman has subsequently died.

“That has caused him upset.

“His position is had it not been for the alcohol, he wouldn’t be facing such an offence.

“He doesn’t consider himself to have an addiction but binge drinking is an issue for him.”

Robertson’s solicitor asked Sheriff Mundy to consider imposing an alternative to a custodial sentence due to his client offering his record of events at an early stage.

However, that request was denied.

Addressing the issue of Robertson having consumed alcohol at the time of the incident, Sheriff Mundy said: “Those difficulties are not an excuse in relation to such behaviour, which was vile.”

Robertson was imprisoned for 16 months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.