Stirling Albion footie coach and mascot found guilty
A former football mascot was yesterday placed under social work supervision after a sheriff ruled he had intentionally sent an explicit picture to a 15-year-old boy.
Blair Barlow, 22, who performed as Stirling Albion’s mascot Bino the Bear claimed he had “misclicked” on his mobile and accidentally sent the image of his penis to the teen on Snapchat.
Barlow, who coached the League Two side’s junior academy and was also a former Active Stirling coach, said he’d intended sending the photo as a potential hook-up on gay dating app Grindr.
Sexualised messages were also sent to his victim and one of his victim’s 15 year old pals in which Barlow discussed masturbation.
Barlow, appearing for sentence at Stirling Sheriff Court, was placed under social work supervision for two years as part of a community payback order. He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register.
The court had previously heard that the boys, who were nothing to do with Barlow’s football coaching, were in one of the lads’ bedrooms when Barlow’s penis picture “popped up” on his iPad.
Barlow, of Stirling, who had denied wrongdoing, was found guilty after trial of attempting to cause a child to look at a sexualised image, contrary to the 2009 Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act. The incident occurred between May 1st 2015 and May 9th last year (2017).
Sheriff William Gilchrist told Barlow it had been “a serious offence” but that he had taken in to account that Barlow was a first offender and the consequences he had suffered since.
Barlow coached the Stirling Albion Junior Academy 2002 squad of 15 that toured Holland last year (2017) and flew with them to The Netherlands.
Stirling Albion confirmed that Barlow had been suspended as soon as the allegations first surfaced
Pervert football coach dressed as Bino the Bear Stirling Albion mascot to get close to kids
Here’s paedophile football coach Blair Barlow getting close to kids while performing as Stirling Albion mascot Bino the Bear.
The obese beast donned the cuddly suit while working on community projects with the League Two club.
Barlow was convicted this week of sending a photo of his penis to a 15-year-old boy.
A Stirling Albion insider said: “He’s been around the club for years.
“To be honest, he wasn’t much of a coach but he had qualifications coming out of his ears and he was a friendly lad.
“Every time you bumped into him, he was doing more and more around the place – he’d made himself indispensable, part of the furniture.
“A lot of people feel totally betrayed that he’s used friendships and the club itself to get close to children.”
Barlow, 22, was busted by police in May last year after the mum of the boy spotted suspicious correspondence on the phone of the youngster, who was a youth footballer, though not at Albion.
Weeks earlier, Barlow had helped lead an under-15s trip to Holland.
Days after the squad came home, police contacted Stirling Albion and told them he wasn’t to be allowed to work with children and he was suspended.
Barlow, who denied the charge, claimed he had “misclicked” on his phone and had meant to send the photo of his penis to a stranger called “BentBoy” he’d met on the gay dating site Grindr.
But he admitted to police he had on another occasion quizzed the boy about masturbation, claiming it was “banter”.
Prosecutor Claire Rowan told Stirling Sheriff Court: “Barlow knew from having been a football coach the implications of communicating with a child. He knew the line that shouldn’t be crossed.”