May 2019

CCTV captured Avonbridge hall official’s sexual assault of 14-year-old girl

A village hall official’s shocking sexual abuse of a schoolgirl in the car park of the premises was recorded on the hall’s own CCTV system.

Brian Mulgrew (57), a surveyor, is secretary of Avonbridge Community Hall management committee.

He took the 14-year-old girl to the hall in the middle of the night after buying both her and her friends alcoholic beverages – including cans of caffeine-laced schnapps drink Dragon Soop and some cider.

After running her boyfriend home and dropping him off, he began to quiz her about sex.

Appearing at Stirling Sheriff Court today, Mulgrew, of Hareburn Avenue, Avonbridge, pled guilty to sexually assaulting the girl, making sexual remarks to her, and giving her alcohol on May 25/May 26 last year.

Procurator fiscal depute Cheryl Clark said the girl thought Mulgrew was actually concerned about her welfare, but then she began to feel “uncomfortable and confused” by his questions and demeanour.

He drove his victim to the community centre in Blackstone Road, Avonbridge, and parked outside the main entrance.

The court heard the girl, who cannot be identified, knew Mulgrew had some responsibility for running the hall and thought he was just going to pick something up. However, after checking the coast was clear, he then told the girl he was going to perform a sexual act on her breasts.

He pulled her top down and sexually assaulted her, telling her to pretend he was her boyfriend.

Miss Clark said: “She froze and felt shock. She tried to move her body away, but she was in the passenger seat with a seat-belt on and could not. She told him to stop and called him a creep and a paedo.

“He attempted to kiss her on the lips. He then ceased his actions and said, ‘I’m only kidding, hen’.”

He then dropped his victim off with some of her other friends, and she told them, and later her mother, what had happened.

Police were contacted the next day.

Interviewed by detectives, Mulgrew denied eight times he had even gone to the community hall at all, but did admit giving the girl a lift, stating: “She was good looking and had big breasts.”

He claimed the CCTV at the hall was broken and had not been working for a year, but officers checked and found it had recorded footage of him driving into the car park with the girl.

The court heard he had a previous conviction for a sexual offence back in 1989.

Calling for reports and continuing bail, Sheriff William Gilchrist told Mulgrew: “You should be aware that given the nature of the charges and given the nature of your previous conviction, a custodial sentence is more than likely.”

Simon Hutchison, defending, said he would reserve his speech in mitigation for the sentencing hearing on July 3.