Sex offender jailed after touching girl in Laurieston street

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A registered sex offender has been put behind bars after rubbing and touching a young girl in public.

Mark Cowan (46) approached two girls, aged 12 and 15, on Mary Street, Laurieston on July 16, telling them he was “a cowboy” before taking off his top and wrapping his arms around one of the youngsters, neither of whom can be named for legal reasons.

Appearing from custody at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Cowan had admitted approaching the minors and engaging in sexual activity with one of them — in direct contravention of a sexual offences prevention order he was placed under in February 2017.

Procurator fiscal depute Samantha Brown said: “The accused indicated that they were beautiful girls and engaged in conversation for some time, during which he has taken his top off, placed his arms around the witness and began touching her on the neck and rubbing her back.

“The conversation was ongoing and eventually a witness, who worked at a shop on Mary Street, observed the accused speaking with the two children and was immediately concerned as earlier that evening she had had a conversation with the accused in that store, where he was purchasing alcohol. He had disclosed his name and that he was a registered sex offender.”

Fearing for the youngsters’ safety, the worker contacted police, who arrived to find Cowan sat between the girls. He was then arrested and appeared in court on July 17 before pleading guilty on August 8.

The court heard Cowan’s adult life has been “blighted by alcohol”.

Sentencing Cowan, Sheriff Derek Livingston said: “You not only contacted both girls, you also engaged in sexual activity with one. There’s absolutely no alternative to a custodial sentence.”

Cowan, 2 Munro Gardens, Laurieston, was jailed for eight months, backdated to July 17, and placed under supervision for three years with the requirement he attends drug and drink treatment courses.

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