September 2018

Sex offender jailed after touching girl in Laurieston street

A registered sex offender has been put behind bars after rubbing and touching a young girl in public.

Mark Cowan (46) approached two girls, aged 12 and 15, on Mary Street, Laurieston on July 16, telling them he was “a cowboy” before taking off his top and wrapping his arms around one of the youngsters, neither of whom can be named for legal reasons.

Appearing from custody at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Cowan had admitted approaching the minors and engaging in sexual activity with one of them — in direct contravention of a sexual offences prevention order he was placed under in February 2017.

Procurator fiscal depute Samantha Brown said: “The accused indicated that they were beautiful girls and engaged in conversation for some time, during which he has taken his top off, placed his arms around the witness and began touching her on the neck and rubbing her back.

“The conversation was ongoing and eventually a witness, who worked at a shop on Mary Street, observed the accused speaking with the two children and was immediately concerned as earlier that evening she had had a conversation with the accused in that store, where he was purchasing alcohol.

He had disclosed his name and that he was a registered sex offender.” Fearing for the youngsters’ safety, the worker contacted police, who arrived to find Cowan sat between the girls.

He was then arrested and appeared in court on July 17 before pleading guilty on August 8. 

Sentencing Cowan, Sheriff Derek Livingston said: “You not only contacted both girls, you also engaged in sexual activity with one. There’s absolutely no alternative to a custodial sentence.”

Cowan, 2 Munro Gardens, Laurieston, was jailed for eight months, backdated to July 17, and placed under supervision for three years with the requirement he attends drug and drink treatment courses.

March 2017

Pervert touched girl (14) on leg

A pervert with a penchant for young girls sat beside a 14-year-old on a public bus and proceeded to touch her and talk to her in a sexual manner.

Mark Cowan (44), Broad Street, Denny, subjected the youngster to his odious presence, talking to her about sexually explicit matters and then rubbing her leg.

This was the third time in under seven months Cowan had made a youngster under the age of 16 a target for his sick advances.

Appearing from custody at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Cowan previously admitted the offences he committed on the Newmarket Street, Falkirk to Glasgow Road, Denny bus on December 29 last year.

He pled guilty to engaging in sexual activity and making inappropriate sexual comments.

The court heard the recent escalation of Cowan’s deviant behaviour may in fact be the result of a brain injury caused by his alcohol abuse.

Defence solicitor Andy Bryson said: “He is suffering from severe disinhibiting behaviour and has a binge drinking problem. He is waiting to see if he is actually suffering from an alcohol-induced brain injury.”

When the prosecution tried to put forward an order banning him from being intoxicated by alcohol or any other substance while in a public place, Mr Bryson argued against it, stating the laws on what intoxication means – from drinking one can of lager to being completely legless – were quite vague.

Sheriff Derek Livingston said: “I’m more concerned with the safety of 14-year-old girls than your client’s right to drink.”

The sheriff decided not to go ahead with the order, believing Cowan to be subject to enough restrictions already.

In sentencing Cowan, Sheriff Livingston said: “This is the third sexual offence you have committed within the past seven months involving young people, one of which involved a male under 16, but the others involved young females.

“It’s clear from the report you are a danger and the public needs to be protected.”

Cowan was sentenced to ten months in prison back dated to January 2 and made subject to a sexual offences protection order preventing him from approaching any female child under the age of 16 for five years.

He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.