Flasher caught after targeting off-duty police officer

Lee Graham.
Lee Graham.

A MAN who groped two women and exposed himself to a third was caught out when one of his victims turned out to be an off-duty police officer.

Lee Graham grabbed one woman as she stood at a bus stop before going on to expose himself to a second shocked woman as she walked along Slateford Road.

But in between the two attacks Graham also approached the female PC from behind and slapped her on the bottom before making his escape.

The off-duty officer immediately called in colleagues to help track the attacker down.

He was then spotted going into a nearby flat stairway by a witness.

Graham, who now lives in Penicuik, had previously pleaded guilty to the two sex attacks and the flashing and returned to court for sentencing yesterday.

Sheriff Norman McFadyen said the incidents were “disturbing” and placed him on the sex offenders register for two years and ordered him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Sheriff McFadyen also placed 40-year-old Graham on a two-year offenders’ supervision programme.

Fiscal depute Lewis Crosbie previously told the court all three victims were “completely unknown” to Graham and the assaults on June 24 last year were “totally unprovoked”.

Mr Crosbie said: “About 7.15pm the complainer, completely unknown to the accused, was standing at a bus stop and the accused approached her and proceeded to grab her.

“She was shocked and asked him ‘what do you think you are doing?’

“The accused said nothing and walked off along Slateford Road.

“The second charge took place around 7.30pm and the complainer was exiting a gate at some flats and she happened to be an off-duty police officer.

“He was unknown to her and he walked round her and as she walked away she felt a smack. She turned around saw the accused standing behind her and she too was shocked.

“She asked him what he was doing and he just smirked and said she had a nice bum.”

The fiscal added Graham then exposed himself to a third woman just 90 minutes later as she walked home.

Mr Crosbie added: “Around 9pm that evening the complainer was walking on Slateford Road and she was approached by the accused who said ‘hello’ to her.

He then exposed himself, “smirked”, and “simply walked past her”.

All three victims had also called police to report the attacks and Graham was soon picked up later that evening.

Defending solicitor Iain Tweedie said his client had lost his home and his job as a taxi driver due to the offences and he had committed the crimes due to “alcohol problems”.

Sheriff McFadyen said: “These were serious charges and the most disturbing aspect is that they were all committed in a very short period of time.”

Graham admitted to sexually assaulting two women on Slateford Road, on June 24, 2015.

He also pleaded guilty to exposing himself to a third woman at the same location and on the same date.

newsen@edinburghnews.com