Highland man spared jail after being found guilty of sex offence against girl
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A 22-year-old Dingwall scaffolder was spared a jail sentence after being found guilty of a serious sexual offence against a nine-year-old girl.
A jury via video link returned a majority verdict after the three-day trial at Inverness Sheriff Court last month of Lewis Morrison of Deas Avenue, Dingwall.
He had denied the offence committed at an address in Inverness on March 18, 2018. He was defended by advocate Edith Forrest.
Sheriff Sara Matheson sentenced him to 300 hours of unpaid community work as an alternative to prison, placed him under three years of social work supervision and placed him on the Sex Offender's Register for the same period.
The trial heard from the girl, and other witnesses including the girl's mother, that Morrison had been at a party and entered the girl's bedroom. He then removed the bed clothes, placed his hand under her clothing and handled her naked genitals.
He repeatedly tried to remove her pyjama bottoms and placed his hand over her mouth to prevent her from alerting others to his behaviour. This caused a slight injury around her eye area.
Morrison burst into tears when the decision was announced. He shook his head several times, staring at the video screen wall connecting the jury remotely from Eden Court Theatre to the courtroom.
Ms Forrest said that Morrison had just become a new father and had a current job as a deer fencer.