A sheriff has thrown out a pre-sentence social work report on a Lanark swimming pool lifeguard convicted of trying to take a photo of a woman drying herself in a changing cubicle there.
At Lanark Sheriff Court last Thursday, sheriff Nikola Stewart rebuked South Lanarkshire Council’s social work department for carrying out what she called “a box-ticking exercise” when preparing a background report on David Boag.
The 26-year-old was found guilty last month of committing that offence in July last year while working at the Lanark Lifestyles pool.
During Boag’s trial, the court heard that a woman drying herself after a swim saw a mobile phone camera being slipped under the cubicle door with its lens pointed upward.
She instantly wrapped herself in a towel and pulled the door open to find Boag rising from a crouched position before making off.
In a distressed state, she reported the incident to a swimming instructor.
When CCTV camera footage and security door entry card records were later inspected, it showed that Boag had used a route through service areas of the leisure centre to reach its central office and was observed to be out of breath on his arrival there.
When later charged under sexual offences laws, Boag, of Larkhall, denied the allegation, but he was found guilty after trial.
At that time, Sheriff Stewart ordered a background report on Boag from social workers before sentencing him, that being scheduled to have taken place on Thursday.
However, in a very rare move, Sheriff Stewart rejected the report that day.
She said: “I am not satisfied a full assessment has been carried out”, adding that Boag appeared to still be denying full responsibility for his offence despite being found guilty.
“You find people deny culpability, especially in this kind of offence,” she said.
She described the report as “a box-ticking exercise” and said she wanted a full sexual offences risk assessment instead.
She ordered that social workers carry out a fuller interview with Boag and come back with a fresh report for the court.
She deferred sentence further until Thursday, May 25, to allow time for that to be carried out.