Driving instructor ‘thrust hand down girl’s top’

Neil Addison is on trial at Dundee Sheriff Court.
Neil Addison is on trial at Dundee Sheriff Court.

A TEENAGER today told how she fled a driving instructor’s car in tears after he grabbed her breast while she was at the wheel.

Neil Addison denies a series of charges of sexually assaulting his pupils during driving lessons he was conducting in the Fife area over the course of more than three years.

The court was shown an interview Addison gave police after his first victims came forward in which he said he was: “Stupid, stupid – 18-year-old head on an older body.”

Today the final witness against Addison told how she had just turned 17 when she started taking lessons with him.

She said that she and her sister – who also told the court she had been groped by Addison – reported him to police following her final lesson in August 2017, after which she left his car in tears after a horrific attack.

READ MORE: Driving instructor ‘sexually assaulted 15 students’

The teenager, now 18, told the jury that Addison had touched her “just above the knee” during early lessons – moving on to her upper thigh as time went on.

During that final two-hour session he had gone as far as putting his hand between her upper thighs, touching against her private parts.

She said he then reached over and thrust his hand down her top – grabbing her left breast.

The girl said: “I was driving with one hand and trying to push him away.

“At one point the side of his hand had been in my crotch.

“He was then pinging my waistband.

“When I got out of the car he said ‘don’t tell anyone about this.’”

READ MORE: Driving instructor says he only grabbed girl’s leg to ‘feel her muscles during clutch control’

Addison was detained by police the following day and interviewed.

During that he admitted he was “possibly” attracted to the girl – 37 years his junior – and added: “Stupid, stupid – 18-year-old head on an older body.”

However, he said that his hand being between the girl’s thighs had happened during a reversing manoeuvre and his hand “may have slipped”.

Earlier the trial heard from a string of young women – who told how they had been groped by Addison.

A pattern emerged of little or no physical contact during early lessons – with initial touches on the knee leading to “squeezing” of the upper thigh as time went on.

The trial heard that an investigation was begun into Addison after two sisters – both of whom gave evidence today came forward accusing him of sexual assaults.

Police then interviewed him and seized records of his previous students before making contact with them.

They were not told the nature of the inquiry – but all volunteered that they had been touched by him.

However, Addison flatly denied touching “of a sexual nature” and claimed to police he was only giving a “reassuring pat”.

One girl told earlier told the court that Addison had repeatedly brushed his hands over her breast after telling her she had hair on her.

And two of the girls told how over the course of a series of lessons Addison had started out touching them on the knee – before gripping the tops of their thighs after becoming more “comfortable”.

One alleged victim said she had refused to get back in a car with him after the first time he touched her.

Others said they only persisted with their lessons with him because they’d already booked their driving tests and paid for blocks of lessons.

The fifth girl to give evidence said that Addison had grabbed her with his fingers on the inside of her thighs, touching her private parts.

In her closing speech to the jury, fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson said: “He feels it is appropriate to shove his hand down the top of a 17-year-old girl in the middle of a driving lesson because he is attracted to her.

“And in the end he admits that is what he did.

“He is in his 50s. These girls were largely teenagers – some still in their school uniforms.

“They are alone in his car and he is in a position of trust.”

But defence lawyer David McLaughlin argued: “Their actions are not consistent with being sexually assaulted week in, week out.”

Addison 55, of Holly Park, Cupar, denied a total of 15 charges on indictment, allegedly committed between June 2014 and August 2017 during car journeys across north east Fife.

The trial, before Sheriff Tom Hughes and a jury of eight men and seven women, continues.

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