A PENSIONER who was extradited from South Africa to face charges of sexually assaulted a six-year-old girl in Edinburgh has escaped with a £2000 fine.
Stuart Cowie, 75, was caught molesting the child by his wife while the couple were visiting the city.
Cowie was said to have sexually assaulted the girl and exposed himself to the youngster as the pair watched TV together at a home in the Capital.
Sheriff Kenneth McGowan told the OAP he had carried out an “unpleasant and almost bizarre incident” but stopped short of jailing him.
Instead Sheriff McGowan ordered Cowie to pay a £2000 fine and placed him on their sex offenders register for five years.
The court had previously heard Cowie and wife Margaret had flown in to Scotland from their South African home just ten days previous to the incident in October 2012.
The OAP was then forced to cut short his holiday and return to South Africa after the girl’s mother found about the attack.
He was subsequently extradited back to the UK earlier this year after the girl’s parents - who cannot be named due to legal reasons - decided to go to the police regarding the incident.
Fiscal depute Kim Schofield told the court Cowie and his wife had flown into Edinburgh Airport in September 2012 to visit family and friends in the city.
Ms Schofield said: “On October 7 around 5.30pm the accused was sitting in the TV room with the girl, who at the time was six-years-old.
“They were both sitting on the sofa and the accused placed his hand down the girl’s trousers.”
Cowie then exposed himself, said the fiscal.
“At which point his wife walked into the room and seen the accused with his trouser’s zip open and asked the girl to leave [the room].”
The fiscal added: “His wife later confronted him about what she had seen saying she had seen his zip open. He replied she was ‘talking nonsense’.
“While this conversation was ongoing the mother of the child walked past the room and heard the argument. She heard Cowie’s wife say ‘I saw you with your zip down while the girl was there.”
The girl’s mother then confronted Cowie about the attack and he told her ‘I don’t know what came over me - I just started fooling around’.
Cowie was then thrown out of the house and he flew back to South Africa the following day.
The court heard Cowie then sent two letters to the family begging for their forgiveness for his “inexcusable behaviour” and that he was “deeply ashamed” at what he had done.
Yesterday George Henry, defending, said Cowie’s family life has “disintegrated” since he admitted the attack and said his behaviour that day had been “inexplicable”.
He added his client had spent two nights in custody in South Africa and a further five nights on remand in HMP Edinburgh during the extradition process.
He is currently staying at a guest house in Edinburgh.