Grangemouth police officer found guilty of sexual assault

An ‘Iron Man’ gun cop is facing jail after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 24-year-old Good Samaritan who had brought him home drunk after a stag night.

The case called at Falkirk Sheriff Court
The case called at Falkirk Sheriff Court

Constable Roderick Keith (51), once commended by his chief constable for his bravery, kissed the man on the head before shoving his hand down his boxers and then pretending to be asleep.

His victim fled in horror after the incident, and went to the home of relatives nearby and told them what Keith had done.

He had earlier taken Keith back to Keith’s home in Grangemouth, after finding the officer sitting alone and staring into space in a Falkirk sports bar at 3am.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard he knew and “looked up” to the hero cop, a married triathlete father-of-two and Iron Man competitor who was a Police Scotland firearms officer for 11 years before being suspended from gun duties as a result of the incident.

Keith had guzzled at least eight pints of Guinness during a seven-and-a-half hour drinking session at the stag do, for another police officer, at the town’s Thirsty Cow pub and later at the nearby Sportsters bar where his victim found him – and was so concerned about his state he took him home.

They were let in by Keith’s wife, who then went to bed.

Keith and his victim then sat on the sofa, where the incident occurred.

His victim told the court: “I must have fallen asleep, and I woke up because I felt movement in my groin area. I moved his arm away with my elbow but I thought I must have been dreaming.

“I questioned it for a few seconds before I fell asleep again.”

He said then he woke up lying on his back being sexually assaulted by Keith, “underneath his boxers”.

The witness said he stood up and looked at Keith and saw one of his eyes open slightly “to see what I was doing” before shutting it and pretending to be asleep.

He left the house and went to his uncle and aunt’s home nearby and told the couple what had happened.

They took him home, and they told his mother as he said he was too embarrassed and ashamed to do so himself.

They all advised him to report the incident, which he did the following day.

The victim, a father-of-one, told prosecutor Collette Fallon that “disbelief had turned to anger” about what Keith had done.

He said he “felt like a little boy, ashamed and scared ... vulnerable and stripped” and had been left severely anxious and with depression, unable to work.

Keith, of Bo’ness Road, denied sexually assaulting the man in the alleged incident on December 9, 2018.

He suggested in evidence that his victim might be “attention seeking” and said, “As far as I’m concerned I didn’t do this. He’s lying.

“I’m not gay for a start. I’d never, ever touch another man. I’m happily married.

“This has just destroyed me.”

Defence solicitor Gordon Williams asked the court to “entertain a reasonable doubt” and find the case against his client not proven.

Sheriff John Mundy said: “I am unable to do so.”

Finding Keith guilty, the sheriff said he was “unable to believe” Keith’s story, but he found the victim to have been a “credible and reliable” witness whose evidence had been “clear and straightforward”.

He said: “I believe the complainer.”

He placed Keith on the sex offenders’ register, and deferred sentence until September 16 for a background report.

He added: “All I can say at this stage is that all options are open to the court.”

Afterwards, Keith told a reporter: “I’ve no comment, thank you.”

Keith’s two-day summary trial started in January, then had to be adjourned for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, before resuming and concluding yesterday (Thursday).