A man convicted of making inappropriate comments to a 20-year-old female shop assistant has been warned he will be jailed if he is involved in any further such incidents.
Jonathan Field already had a previous conviction for sexually assaulting a petrol station attendant when he committed that latest offence in the Spar shop in Lothian Road, Jedburgh, on May 13.
The 28-year-old’s conduct was described as “utterly disgraceful and incomprehensible” at Jedburgh Sheriff Court and was said to have left the shopworker “quite shaken”.
As his name is already on the sex offenders’ register for the offence he committed at the Shell garage in Edinburgh Road, Jedburgh, back in August 2016, sentence had been deferred for a criminal justice social work report and a restriction-of-liberty order assessment.
Field pleaded guilty to a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by recording the female employee on his phone, making inappropriate comments to her and kissing her on the hand.
The court was told that Field’s previous conviction was for going into the Shell garage late at night and groping the bosom of a female staff member.
Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said that though Field’s latest offence was not specifically of a sexual nature, it did bear similarities to the previous incident.
He explained: “The complainer is 20 years of age and was working behind the counter in the premises at about 9.30pm with a colleague in the back office.
“The accused came in with a friend, and she knew him as a regular customer.
“He came up to the counter and started flexing his biceps and asking her to feel his muscles. She thought he was tipsy but not drunk but was not sure what to do.
“The friend turned up at the counter with alcohol, and the staff members realised the accused was filming himself and also her with a mobile phone. He was carrying out a selfie.
“She could see her image on his phone and held her hand up to cover her face.
“He then said ‘if I could bend you over and spank you, I would’.”
Mr Fraser said the woman felt awkward and the friend told Field to stop, saying: “You are being a creep.”
Field then kissed her hand and left with his pal.
Afterwards, the woman was found by her colleague in the staff toilets crying and described what had happened.
When spoken to by police, Field said he was “quite drunk” and “just joking about” but admitted he didn’t think his victim was very happy about what had happened.
Field said it had not been his intention to upset the employee and had gone about things the wrong way.
Mr Fraser responded: “How anyone can think it is appropriate behaviour is beyond me. It was utterly disgraceful and incomprehensible.”
Defence lawyer Sophie Russell said that in the cold light of day, when sober, her client was “very remorseful”.
She added: “When he has a drink in him, he can become quite loud and inappropriate.”
The lawyer conceded that his victim would have been quite shaken by what had happened.
Sheriff Peter Paterson imposed a night-time home curfew between 8pm and 5.30am on Field, of Howdenburn Court in Jedburgh, as well as ordering him to pay the female shop assistant £1,000 in compensation.
He told Field: “If you are back in court for an offence of this nature, an attempt to humiliate a female while under the influence of alcohol, you will go to jail.
“If you don’t address your difficulties with alcohol, then that is what is going to happen.”