A Fife man who sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl has avoided a jail term.
Darren Stephen, 42, of Morar Street, Methil, appeared for sentencing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.
He previously admitted that on November 7, 2015 at Brown Street, Buckhaven, he assaulted a girl, then aged 16, by kissing her, placing his hand inside her pants and touching her on her private parts.
Defence solicitor Joe Mooney said, “It’s reprehensible behaviour, impulsive, opportunistic. Those things can’t be denied.”
Referring to the social work report, Mr Mooney said, “Initially he seemed to deny what he’d already pled guilty to, which was perplexing to me. He puts that down to nerves.
“When challenged by the social worker he then accepted his behaviour. He now recognises he needs help.
“He took an overdose over this and ended up in hospital. That’s where the police got him.
“He’s a former HGV driver but is not currently working.”
Sheriff Craig McSherry told Stephen, “How you could imagine that putting your hand inside a girl’s pants and touching her was not sexually motivated, I do not know.”
The sheriff imposed a 36-month community payback order with supervision and 200 hours of unpaid work.
Stephen will be on the sex offenders’ register for three years.