Finance worker admits assaulting US exchange student

William Murray-Uren. Picture: Alex Lawrie

William Murray-Uren. Picture: Alex Lawrie

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A FINANCE worker has admitted assaulting a foreign exchange student at his parents’ house in the Capital.

William Murray-Uren tried to kiss his 18-year-old American victim before putting his hands inside her underwear.

Murray-Uren, a 23-year-old accounts assistant who works in London, carried out the assault after returning to his parents’ home following a night out in Edinburgh.

Murray-Uren pleaded guilty to an amended charge of assaulting the woman on June 19, 2014 during an appearance at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.

Fiscal depute Aidan Higgins told the court the student had enjoyed a traditional ceilidh held at a city school before the attack.

Mr Higgins said: “The accused entered the bedroom of the complainer and asked her if they could chat. He pulled back the covers of the bed and lay down beside her.

“He then attempted to kiss her but she turned away to avoid the kiss.

“He kissed her again and this time she reciprocated. She allowed him to rub her leg above her clothing.

“The kissing came to an end and the complainer asked her to remove her pyjama trousers, to which she replied ‘no’.”

The court heard that the woman asked Murray-Uren to leave the room, but he refused and forced himself on her.

Mr Higgins said the attacker’s actions were “painful” to the student.

The victim told a friend and teacher the following day what had happened the previous night and police were soon contacted.

Murray-Uren – the son of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary heart specialist Neal Uren – currently works as an accounts assistant with PR firm Prosek Partners in London.

His victim, now 20, had travelled to the FBI headquarters in New York yesterday ready to give evidence via a TV link, but was told just moments before a trial was due to begin that he had changed his plea.

Defence solicitor David Brown said his client was “deeply, deeply ashamed of his behaviour”.

Sheriff Kenneth Maciver said: “This is a significantly serious matter of assault and all of the court’s sentencing options will remain open.”

Sentence was deferred to next month.

newsen@edinburghnews.com