An up-and-coming rugby union player has been ordered to pay £100 compensation to a schoolgirl after being convicted of smacking her bottom in a Galashiels takeaway.
Curtis Reynolds, 21, was originally charged with sexually assaulting the 16-year-old at the town’s Ozkan’s Grill, but following a trial, the prop forward was found guilty of assaulting the girl by touching her buttocks.
Reynolds, a Gala player at the time, making 11 appearances for the Netherdale team’s first XV last season, but now with Welsh development side Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404, known as RGC for short, had been out drinking prior to ending up in the Market Street takeaway.
The schoolgirl told a trial at Selkirk Sheriff Court that she had been standing at the counter at the takeaway in the early hours of Sunday, March 12, when she felt what she described as a hard slap on her bottom. She assumed the culprit had been her boyfriend, and after finishing ordering her food, she challenged him about it.
The boyfriend said it was not him, however, and pointed out the 18-stone, 6ft 2in tall rugby player as being the culprit.
There was then an angry exchange of words in the shop, and later the girl took a picture of Reynolds and circulated it on social media to find out who he was.
She also lodged a complaint with the police.
The boyfriend’s brother also witnessed the slap but said it was a soft one. However, he did confirm that it did not appear to be accidental.
Giving evidence, Reynolds said he could offer no explanation as to why he touched the girl’s bottom except to say he was sitting at a table and she had entered his space so he had reached out to push her away.
Sheriff Peter Paterson said he was convinced there had been an intentional slap of the young lady’s bottom.
He said he was more convinced by the evidence put forward by the crown witnesses than that given by Reynolds but felt it would be a step too far to convict him of sexual assault and instead ruled it had been a simple assault.
Reynolds, now living in Colwyn Bay in north Wales, is paid £125 a week by his new rugby club, plus a £40 win bonus, the court heard.
He was given 28 days to pay the £100 compensation to the girl.