April 2020

Dad blasts tagged sex offender’s sentence after COVID-19 lockdown

A father of a girl who saw a man performing a sex act on a number 11 bus says he’s been let off as ‘everybody is on a tag just now’.

Michael Reid, 35, previously admitted pleasuring himself in front of two 12-year-olds girls while on the top-deck at the back of the Number 11 bus with a bottle of drink in his other hand last year.

Reid, of Montgomerie Terrace, Kilwinning, was told to sign the Sex Offender’s Register and ordered to stay at home from 7pm-7am after the court heard he was remorseful.

The disgusted dad of one of the girls said he’s ‘basically getting away with it’ due to the coronavirus lockdown – announced the evening after Reid was sentenced on Monday, March 23.

He said: “I think the sentence is a bit ridiculous, especially since everybody has got to stay in the house anyway. A tag seems a bit irrelevant in the current situation.

“For a guy to have done that in front of two young lassies on a bus, the guy is basically getting away with it – being on a register is a bit of a cop out. He’s not even got any community work. I’m a bit disgusted, everybody is on a tag just now.

“Doing that in front of two young girls should be considered quite serious especially when you see what other people get. I think he should have got the jail – I don’t expect the guy to get five years or something but you expect him to do some kind of time.

“I saw the video. It was clear he was doing what he was doing but for a 12-year-old wean to see that…”

On the effect on his daughter, the dad said: “I’ve been in and out of school a couple times just because of her mood and the way she’s acting has stemmed from this. She has not been going out as much, and she used to be out all the time. She has changed and is a bit reserved about going out.”

The court previously heard how Reid began pleasuring himself after the girls boarded the bus at Saltcoats station at about 8.20am on July 26 last year.

The court heard Reid looked at the girls while performing the sex act, then paused when new passengers boarded, and tried to join in their conversation.

One of the girls began to record him on her mobile before they then started to text each other instead of speaking and agreed to pretend to get off the bus.

They told the driver, who then contacted a supervisor, while Reid got off the bus. Police identified him through photographs.

Sheriff Foran sentenced Reid to a community payback order with supervision for two years, a restriction of liberty order to stay at home from 7am-7pm and placed him on the sex offender register.