Highlands & Islands

Curler sexually assaulted woman 'to put off rival'

Curling stone Image copyright Thinkstock

A curler sexually assaulted the wife of a rival player to distract him from his last shot in the final moments of a curling bonspiel, a court has heard.

George Elder, 63, of Brodie in Moray, was accused of grabbing the woman's breast at Inverness Ice Centre last February.

He denied the assault but was convicted after a trial at Inverness Sheriff Court by Sheriff Chris Dickson.

Elder is to reappear for sentencing on 12 February.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was participating in a match against Elder's team and her husband was about to play the final shot.

She told fiscal depute David Morton: "My husband was about to play his last shot after George, who had come alongside our team.

"This was against the rules. He gave me a cuddle and said: 'Let's see if we can put him off'. Then he grabbed my breast without warning. I pushed his hand away and said: 'That's enough of that, you'.

"I asked my husband if he had seen it and he said 'no' but added: 'I am not surprised'.

"Then he played his stone and we won the match. I could see that another player had seen it and I went over to her to confirm it."

The woman added: "When I saw George in the gallery later, I told him that his behaviour was entirely inappropriate. He apologised."

Cross examined by defence lawyer John MacColl, the woman denied that it could have been an accident.

She said: "I didn't have a problem with anyone giving me a cuddle but it was deliberate contact with my breast."

Two other players at the rink that afternoon also gave evidence and said the act was intentional.

Sheriff Dickson placed Elder on the sex offender's register.

Related Topics