Melrose man made sexual comment towards girl under 13 years of age

A 62-YEAR-OLD Borders man who made a sexual comment towards a girl under 13 years of age has been made subject to the notification requirements of the Sex Offenders Register.

Neil Rankin, of Melrose, pleaded guilty to the offence which happened at the Galashiels Interchange earlier this year.

Selkirk Sheriff Court was told that a group of youngsters had attended a local youth club and were walking to the Transport Interchange to check bus times.

A couple of girls left the group to go the toilets and on their return Rankin said to one of them: “Can you take your clothes off?”

The youngster told her mother who called the police.

Rankin had left the area by bus and when tracked down by police he said he had been drinking alcohol and could not recall the incident.

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He also pleaded guilty to assaulting a teenage boy who was part of a group of youngsters who had been shouting abuse at him on the walkway between Melrose Rugby Club and the Chain Bridge on July 13.

Rankin threw a punch at a teenage boy who had been calling him names knocking him to the ground but he fell over as well during the incident.

Defence lawyer Ed Hulme said alcohol was a problem for his client at the time of the Galashiels incident which he had no recollection of.

He added that Rankin lost his temper and attempted to throw a punch at a teenager in the Melrose incident.

Sheriff Peter Paterson imposed a Community Pay Back Order with supervision for 18 months for making the sexual comment. He also made him subject of the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act for the next 18 months.

Sentence was deferred on the assault charge until June 27.

Border Telegraph | News