August 2016

Sick pervert told boy ‘he would make him a superhero’ before sexually assaulting him in pub toilet


A sick sexual pervert who told an eight-year-old boy he would make him a superhero before sexual assaulting him in a pub toilet has been jailed for more than two years.

Graham Murray, 38, followed the schoolboy into the toilets after the youngster had gone to see Christmas lights being switched on.

While the boy was in the toilet cubicle, Murray banged on the door and demanded to be let in.

The child refused but then opened the door and Murray forced his way in before molesting him and making disgusting sexual remarks.

The attack was only stopped when quantity surveyor Stephen Todd entered and panicked Murray told him he was the boy’s dad before fleeing from the JD Wetherspoon’s pub in Wishaw, Lanarkshire

Murray, of Wishaw, had gone on trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court and denied the sickening attack in November 2015, forcing the boy to give evidence against him.

But a jury took just half an hour to convict him and he has now been put behind bars for two years.

Murray was given a further nine month sentence after admitting intimidating Mr Todd during the trial by sending him messages on Facebook in a bid to evade justice.

Murray will also be kept on licence for two years on his release.

Defence lawyer Margaret Chalmers said: “He must face the consequences of the jury’s decision.

“He had a normal, loving family background. His mother is at a loss why this is happening and it is affecting his family as a whole.

“It is a very difficult position to be able to put forward any mitigation.

“This is something that will affect him for the rest of his life and there is nothing I can say because he is adamant of his position.

“It is incomprehensible for someone of his age to be facing this.”

Appearing by video link to give evidence at the trial the boy, now aged nine, recalled: “He said he would make me a superhero.

“I was very scared and I was shaking, I was frightened when he came into the cubicle and I was crying.

“A man came in at one point and he said he was my dad but I was shouting that he wasn’t, I was very scared. He was telling me to be quiet so nobody would hear what he was doing.”

Unemployed Murray repeatedly denied any wrong doing and even labelled the boy a “sick liar” for making up allegations against him.

He told the jury: “I certainly didn’t sexually assault that young child and I was certainly not in a panic when I left the pub that day to go home.”

Speaking after the verdict, the boy’s mum said: “Our son was the bravest, most articulate and intelligent little boy giving his evidence, we can’t be more proud of him and he is happy this ‘thing’ has been locked up.”

Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen said: “I commend the bravery of the boy and his presence of mind when faced with this sexual assault by calling out for help.

“I commend Stephen Todd’s actions in looking after the child and bringing it to the attention of the family.

“His gran said she was grateful and the family and the wider society owe Mr Todd a great deal of gratitude.

“The court also thanks him for what he did.

“The victim impact statement from the boy’s father says he has lost his innocence and trust in strangers much sooner than he should have.

“This was a disgraceful attack on a defenceless child for your own sexual gratification.

“You have shown no remorse and the reason this incident didn’t continue was not due to you, but it seems that you stopped and ran away because of the arrival of Mr Todd.

“Custody is the only disposal given it was an unprovoked attack on a strange child coupled by your continual denial of the crime.”

Murray was placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.