Man alarmed schoolgirl on Biggar bus

Lanark Sheriff Court
Lanark Sheriff Court

A schoolgirl felt “very uncomfortable” on the Biggar-to-Lanark bus when a man sat sideways on and stared at her, a court heard.

He got off at Thankerton, and the 13-year-old girl continued on to Lanark, but on her return journey the same man boarded the bus where he had got off, and again sat sideways staring at her.

Michael Patrick Forbes Kay then got up and stood at the pole in front of her, asking her personal questions.

Two other passengers were also made uncomfortable by his behaviour, and when the girl got off the bus in Biggar, they walked with her, only to see Kay walking behind them.

The girl became really upset at that, and one of the adults called the police.

At Lanark Sheriff Court on Wednesday Kay, 60, of Mill Road, Thankerton, admitted repeatedly staring at the girl on the bus on April 5, approaching her and engaging in conversation, repeatedly asking her personal questions, and then walking behind her in Biggar, causing her fear and alarm, and doing that while on bail. “He’s just a drunk man on a bus, and he sees this girl. He has a daughter of 18, and this girl reminds him of her,” his solicitor said, describing Kay as a modern Scottish artist, but sheriff Nikola Stewart was not accepting that.

Kay had been “hanging around” at the bus stop and then walking behind the girl and the two passengers off the main street.

“The narration I have reveals a deeply uncomfortable situation,” said the sheriff.

“This was a deliberate act of following a little girl,” she said.

Kay was said to have a “significant” record, and the sheriff highlighted a number of his previous convictions, some involving sexual breaches of the peace, a charge of stalking and one which had resulted in a non-harassment order for five years being made.

“This is a dangerous man, a dangerous man,” she said.

She was “deeply concerned” at his actions, and although the Crown had accepted there was no sexual element, she took the unusual step of calling for a risk assessment with background reports.

“I accept utterly the basis on which the plea was tendered, but that doesn’t stop him from being dangerous,” she said.