No jail sentence for police firearms specialist who sexually assaulted man

A decorated police officer who drunkenly sexually assaulted a young man who had just tried to help him received a non-custodial sentence for his crime.

By Court Reporter
Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 2:42 pm

PC Roderick Keith (51), who was once commended by his chief constable for 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 the police officer’s home, in Grangemouth after finding the officer sitting alone and staring into space in a Falkirk sports bar at 3am.

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Keith appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court for sentence

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard the victim 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.

Keith had downed at least eight pints of Guinness during a seven-and-a-half hour drinking session at a stag night for another police officer in 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.

Keith, of Bo'ness Road, Grangemouth, was found guilty in July of sexually assaulting the man in the alleged incident, which occurred on December 9, 2018.

He had denied the charge.

Sheriff John Mundy said he believed the victim, but after reading a social worker's background report he said he accepted the author's description of the incident as “an aberration”.

He placed Keith on a supervised community payback order for nine months and added his name to the sex offenders' register for the same period.

Sheriff Mundy said: “Clearly this is a serious matter, and one has to consider the effect it had on this young man, who must have suffered considerable emotional distress.“I'm prepared to go along with the description of this incident as an aberration.”

During a three-day trial, which started in January, then had to be adjourned for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Keith's victim told the court he must have fallen asleep before Keith assaulted him.

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.

The victim, a father-of-one, said his “disbelief had turned to anger” about what Keith had done.

Keith insisted: “As far as I'm concerned I didn't do this. He's lying. I'm not gay for a start. I'm happily married."

Keith is currently suspended from the Police Service of Scotland, and will face disciplinary action.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “We are aware of the outcome of the case and a report will be made to the Assistant Chief Constable Professionalism and Assurance for consideration of conduct proceedings.”