Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee United's stadium manager admits sex assault

Albert Dawson
Image caption Dawson admitted the attack to club bosses two years ago but was allowed to keep his job

The stadium manager of a Scottish Premiership football club has admitted sexually assaulting a woman in the ground's stands.

Albert Dawson carried out the attack in the East Stand of Dundee United's Tannadice stadium in 2011.

He walked up behind his victim, who was also employed by the club, put his arms around her, touched her breasts and put his hands between her legs.

Dawson admitted the offence at Dundee Sheriff Court. Sentence was deferred.

The court was told that 49-year-old Dawson, who also acts as the club's head groundsman, approached the woman near a catering kiosk and asked "What are you doing?".

'Upset and crying'

Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson said: "He then touched her breasts over her clothing, put his hands between her legs and cupping her genitals over her clothing for a few seconds.

"He thereafter walked away as she became extremely shocked and upset.

"She ran out of the stand and found a groundsman who was nearby and told him what was happening. The groundsman could see she was upset.

"She subsequently went home, still upset and crying, and told her partner about the incident."

The woman then raised a complaint with her line manager at the club - but said she didn't want the police involved at that point.

Dawson was then confronted by club bosses and admitted his behaviour, telling them: "I grabbed her from behind."

Image caption The attack happened in the East Stand at Tannadice

But he was only given a warning and was allowed to keep his job.

Miss Robertson added: "The accused did not speak to the complainer for some time, however at the start of last football season he made a further comment towards her that made her feel uncomfortable and it was at this point she decided to report the incident to police.

"She was hysterically upset while disclosing the matter to them. The following week she left her job and went on sick leave.

"The accused was interviewed in relation to this matter by police and said 'I held my hands up to that - I had been mucking about with the lass and I went too far'.

"He admitted he had cupped her genitals and couldn't provide any defence for his actions. He confirmed they had never been in a relationship."

Dawson, 49, of Forfar, pleaded guilty to a charge of sexually assaulting the woman at Tannadice Park on one occasion between 1 February 2011 and 30 April 2011.

Bob Bruce, defending, said he would speak in mitigation for Dawson at a later sentencing date.

Sheriff Tom Hughes deferred sentence for social work reports until next month.

He said: "You will be subject to the sex offenders register from today."

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