James Tainsh (64) was caught on CCTV getting empty water bottles and used cups out of a bin, peeing in them, and putting them back on female workers’ desks at a Grangemouth firm.
He appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Thursday having pled guilty to the breach of the peace he committed on October 17. The court stated the offence had a significant sexual element to it.
When workers complained about the smells coming from their bottles the manager of the company rigged up a temporary, secret CCTV system in the office. When it was checked the next day, Tainsh, who had been working late, was seen unzipping his trousers, inserting his private member into the neck of bottles he had retrieved from the bin, and putting them on the women’s desks after he had finished with them.
He did the same with partly-full water bottles on their desks, and at one point he could been seen on CCTV taking an empty chewing gum container out of a bin, performing a sex act into it, and putting it on one of the women’s desks.
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The court heard that the conduct had been going on for some time before Tainsh was apprehended.
Procurator fiscal depute Samanatha Brown said: “The inference was the women may well have drunk out of bottles affected. What drew their attention was bottles left on their desks had been moved around.”
The court heard one of the two women had suffered sickness and stomach trouble after Tainsh was unmasked, but it could not be said whether this had been due to drinking contaminated water or the stress of thinking she might have done.
Sheriff Derek Livingston commented: “The mere possibility would be enough. In a normal workplace, you don’t expect bottles to be adulterated in this way.”
Simon Hutchison, defending, said Tainsh had lost his job at the firm, where he had worked for over 20 years, and was now working with a relative who is a gas engineer.
After reading the background reports, Sheriff Livingston said he was concerned by Tainsh’s “lack of contrition”.
He said: “His attitude to the offence seems to be almost one of justification – that it’s one of the women’s faults because he thought she was flirting with him.”
Mr Hutchison said: “Or flirting with someone else, and he wasn’t happy about it.”
Addressing Tainsh directly, Sheriff Livingston said: “I am very tempted to impose a custodial sentence – your behaviour was absolutely disgusting. That being said, I’m not sure how much good it would do, and I take into account the fact that you’re a first offender and statutorily I’m not entitled to impose custody unless I’m satisfied that there’s no alternative.”
“Both these women suspected there was something wrong with their bottles, but they were not unreasonable to assume that a bottle that was sitting on their desk the previous day would be okay to use.”
Sheriff Livingston ordered Tainsh, Wishart Drive, Braehead, Stirling, to pay £1500 compensation to each of the two women and to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also made subject to a supervised community payback order for three years and placed on the sex offenders’ register over the same period.