Man who entered play park naked apart from hoodie ‘on stag night gone wrong’

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A man who wandered about a children’s play park naked apart from a hoodie blamed his behaviour on “a stag night gone wrong”.

Witnesses described Jamie Ross as being “dazed and confused” and unsteady on his feet with his bare feet and legs exposed to the elements.

He later told police he had wakened up with no money, no mobile phone and no clothes with no idea where he was or how he had got there.

The 40-year-old window cleaner was convicted of public indecency in the play park in Bathgate, West Lothian on 5 April 2016.

He had denied the charge but was found guilty after trial at Livingston Sheriff Court today

Ross was also found guilty of a separate charge of driving dangerously by doing an unnecessary emergency stop then reversing his works van at speed into a police car, injuring two officers on 11 December 2017.

He pled guilty to a third charge of driving while unfit through drink or drugs during the December incident in Whitburn, West Lothian,.

Sheriff John MacRitchie called for background reports and remanded Ross, of White Street, Whitburn, in custody until sentence next month.

During his trial, a woman whose home overlooks the play park in Owen Stone Street, Bathgate, gave evidence that she phoned the police after she saw Ross – naked from the waist down – sitting on the kids’ swings and sliding down a chute .Alice Jamieson, 59, said she shooed away a little boy who wanted to play football and a woman with a young girl approaching the park because Ross was standing there naked from the waist down.

She said: “He didn’t have any trousers on. I just saw the male’s genitals – a very small bit of them – but he was not displaying them.”

Asked by Sheriff David MacRitchie to clarify matters she confirmed she had seen the end of the accused’s penis.

She said he had pulled the hoodie over his knees to hide his private parts by the time police arrived and found him sitting in the common close next to her flat.

Another local resident said she saw a flash of the accused’s bum after he arrived on the doorstep of her home in nearby Castle Street with one of her two young sons a short time earlier.

Café owner Maureen Watson, 53, said: “I was shocked because I didn’t know how he’d got there and I didn’t know if he was mentally unstable or on drugs or alcohol.

“He was standing next to my 10-year-old son and I was worried he was going to come into the house.

“My mind was really racing thinking about what was going to happen next. I asked him if he was naked under the hoodie and he said: ‘Yes’.

“He said he had no money and no phone but when I asked him if I could phone anyone for him he just shrugged his shoulders.”

Pensioner Christine Barbour, 62, said she also called the police after being alerted to Ross’s antics by a delivery driver.

She said: “The delivery man asked me to phone saying there was a man rolling about naked on the grass over the road from my house.

“I couldn’t see anything because there were BT vans in the middle of the road, but I became aware of someone wearing a fleece at my neighbour’s further along the road talking to her with bare legs.

“The man just looked bewildered or a little bit drunk. He was swaying about.”

PC Nadia Munro, 41, said she went to the scene in response to numerous calls from concerned residents.

She told the court Ross was wearing a blue hooded top, and that was all.

“I asked him what had happened and he said: ‘It was a stag do which went wrong’.”

She added: “He was completely unable t tell me why he was there, where his clothes were, where he’d been or who he’d been with.

“He was somewhat confused but not enough that he was unable to answer my questions.

“He did say he’d been drinking heavily and had taken cocaine.”

Finding the father of three guilty of public indecency, Sheriff MacRitchie told him: “The conduct of wandering about a public area wearing just a hoodie such that your behind and then later your penis is on display to witnesses is undoubtedly indecent.

“It’s quite clear that your conduct was such as to actually offend against public sensitivity and I have no difficulty in concluding you demonstrated a reckless indifference to the actual offence caused by wandering around naked in some sort of state induced by alcohol or drugs displaying your private parts.

“There’s evidence that there were children in attendance in the general area of the playpark and I’m satisfied in concluding that the charge has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”