A JOHNSTONE pensioner who shocked a couple at a beauty spot when he groped himself in front of them has been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

John McGill, 73, committed the sex offence at Gleniffer Braes Country Park, in Paisley, on Valentine’s Day.

The area, known as the ‘car park in the sky,’ is popular with dog walkers during the day but, at night, it is known to be used by ‘doggers’ – people who engage in, and watch, public sex acts.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard how a woman and her husband went to the Robertson Car Park area at around 10am on February 14 last year to walk their dog.

Her husband noticed a red hatchback passing by twice before it stopped in a car park.

The couple noticed that McGill, of Collier Street, did not have a dog with him and he performed a three-point turn before driving away.

However, after they had walked on, they noticed that McGill was just behind them at a boggy area in a wood.

The woman told McGill to watch his feet on the marshy area, but he simply put his right hand to his crotch and stimulated himself while staring at her.

He rubbed himself for several seconds without saying a word, prompting the couple to turn away in disgust.

As they walked off, they noticed McGill had returned to his car. The husband took a note of McGill’s car registration and told him: “You’ve been clocked.”

McGill replied: “I’m not doing anything.”

When the matter was reported to police and officers returned the following day, they found McGill near the same car park.

He was charged with behaving in a threatening or abusive way but replied: “I never done that.”

Sentencing was deferred for reports and, when McGill returned to the dock yesterday, defence solicitor David Nicholson said he had previously been of good character.

He added that McGill was “ashamed” by the case. Sheriff David Pender could have caged McGill for up to 12 months but opted instead to place him on the Sex Offenders’ Register for a year.

He also placed him on a year-long Community Payback Order, which will see him supervised by social workers for that length of time.

Sheriff Pender told McGill: “It says in the report that you are the carer for your wife, so I’m not going to impose any unpaid work.”

As there was no unpaid work imposed, there is no punishment element to the sentence.

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