Pervert chef who sexually assaulted two teenage waitresses in Seton Sands escapes jail

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A PERVERT chef who sexually assaulted two teenage waitresses during work shifts has escaped a jail term.

Paul Salinger was working at a popular caravan park when he fondled the two young girls as they worked together in the kitchens.

General view of Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Ian Georgeson

General view of Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Salinger deliberately pressed his groin against one of the girls as he squeezed past her in the busy kitchen at Seton Sands Holiday Park, in East Lothian.

The 34-year-old also grabbed another youngster by the bottom and squeezed it during an incident earlier this year.

The chef claimed he had worked in many busy kitchens during his career and it was inevitable people would brush against each other.

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Salinger, from Prestonpans, East Lothian, said if there had been any physical contact between him and the waitresses it was due to him carrying “pots and pans in my hands”.

The dad-of-two denied the sex assault allegations but he was found guilty of two offences following a trail at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.

He was found not guilty of two further allegations of sexually assaulting two women at his previous employment at Cakes and Shakes in Musselburgh, East Lothian, between January 27 and February 8 this year.

Sheriff John Cook told the perv he had carried out “deliberate sexual assaults” on the two girls which had not been “accidental”.

And today Salinger returned to the city court for sentencing where he was placed on the sex offenders register and handed a supervision order for 12 months.

The 34-year-old South African national was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the community.

In sentencing, Sheriff Cook said: “These were serious offences and were aggravated by the fact that you were the more senior employee at the restaurant and the age of the young women involved.

“But I do take into account your age, you have no previous convictions and you have no outstanding cases.

“And you do acknowledge you have have difficulty with boundaries which I must say that is the least to say about your conduct.”

Previously the court heard from the two teenage victims with one claiming Salinger would deliberately press his groin against her as he made his way past her at the holiday site’s kitchens.

Salinger also gave evidence and claimed he could not remember any specific incidents but added “if I had brushed against her I would have had pots, pans and bowls in my hand”.

The chef said it was most likely the girls had felt a bowl he was carrying that had inadvertently touched against her rear end.

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He told the court: “I would never have done that - I would never have grabbed her bum.

“My body never touched them. And if I had touched them it would have been the pots and pans.

“What they are saying is just not me. I’ve for no reason to touch anyone in that way.”

He said he had never been spoken to by park management about any complaints made against him and his employment was terminated without any explanation.

But following the evidence Sheriff Cook told Salinger he was “satisfied beyond reasonable doubt” that he had sexually touched up the two teenagers and said to think otherwise would be “fanciful”.

Sheriff Cook added the offences had been “deliberate sexual assaults and not accidental” and that the pots and pans excuse was “inherently unlikely”.

Euan Gosney, defending, said Salinger now has an “appreciation of his lack of boundaries in the workplace” and that he is deemed “a low risk of reoffending”.

Salinger was found guilty following a summary trial of sexually assaulting a teenager by seizing her by the bottom and squeezing it at Seton Sands Holiday Park, Port Seton, East Lothian, on an occasion between March 1 and May 3 this year.

He was also found guilty of pressing his body against a second girl, placing his hands on her waist and rubbing his groin against her at the same location and between the same dates

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