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Trial hears women's claims of being sexually assaulted in Nairn

By Gregor White

Inverness Sheriff Court.
Inverness Sheriff Court.

Several women claimed they were assaulted by the same man during a 13 month period in Nairn.

A jury at Inverness Sheriff Court has heard Christiano Ferreira (43) would grab the bottoms of his alleged victims and try to kiss or cuddle them without their consent.

The Portuguese national also faces allegations of locking one woman in a cupboard before sexually assaulting her.

The woman told the court he attacked her on July 5, 2015.

Shortly afterwards she phoned her boyfriend in a distressed state and told him what happened.

The man, who like the women cannot be named for legal reasons, said: "She was very upset, crying. She said that Christiano touched her under her trousers. I said if you don't report it, I will."

Ferreira's defence counsel Bill Adam cross-examined the woman, who said she was not lying.

She told fiscal depute Robert Weir said that the assault occurred without her permission or encouragement.

Ferreira, described as an Inverness prisoner, denies six charges of sexual assault committed between June 2014 and July 2015. He has lodged a special defence of consent.

In other evidence a 28-year-old woman said she was targeted by Ferreira on numerous occasions between March and July 2015, squeezing her behind and trying to kiss her.

"He used to laugh and I always got angry," she said.

Another woman said: "There were a few incidents where he inappropriately touched me, grabbing my bottom several times saying that he wanted to be with me and not his wife.

"He would put his arms around me to cuddle me. There was no reason for it."

A fourth woman told the court that Ferreira spun her round after grabbing her waist.

"I felt really uncomfortable," she said. "I didn't know what he was going to do next."

The prosecution has finished leading evidence today and Mr Adam is expected to call his client tomorrow.

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