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Man who forcibly kissed teenager 'not a sex offender'

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A shopkeeper who grabbed a teenager and kissed her will not be placed on the sex offenders register, a sheriff has ruled.

John Dobbie, 45, admitted assaulting the 17-year-old in a branch of Mountain Warehouse.

A court heard he forced himself upon the girl and refused to take no for an answer on 12 April last year.

But Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told Perth Sheriff Court the sexual motivation for his crime was “not significant.”

Dobbie, of Pitlochry, was placed under supervision for 12 months and ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work.

Sheriff Foulis said: “When I say it was daft I am not minimising it because there was an abuse of his position.

“You could say there might be some sort of sexual element, but it is not a significant sexual element. I don’t consider this offence has a significant sexual element.”

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However, he added it was a matter the court had to take seriously.

Sheriff Foulis said: “You assaulted a female in her late teens, with you being more than 20 years older than her.”

‘Heavy price’

Solicitor Paul Ralph told the court his client had paid a heavy personal price for his actions

He said: “This has been calamitous for him. He lost his employment. His partner felt she couldn’t have him in the house and he moved into a homeless unit.

“His life has been turned upside down by his behaviour.”

Fiscal depute Andrew Harding told the court Dobbie was a team leader and supervisor and was known to the teenager.

He said: “The accused began speaking to the complainer about kissing him. He encouraged her to try it and asked if she wondered what it would be like.

“The complainer told him ‘no’ a couple of times. The accused moved in close and tried to kiss her. She moved away and the accused grabbed her round the waist.

“He pulled her in and kissed her on the lips. He looked at her and said ‘This doesn’t change anything, Ok?'”

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The girl, who cannot be named, returned home and told her mother what Dobbie had done and the police were contacted.

At an earlier hearing, a sheriff ruled that Dobbie’s offence had amounted to a “significant sexual” offence and he was temporarily placed on the register.

Sheriff Gillian Wade said: “He encouraged her to try and kiss him. I will determine that there is a significant sexual element which triggers notification.”

But on Wednesday Sheriff Foulis said he disagreed with his colleague’s position and removed Dobbie’s details from the register.

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