Glasgow 2014 Athlete Cleared Of Toilet Attack

Glasgow 2014 Athlete Cleared Of Toilet Attack

A Commonwealth games athlete has been cleared of sexually assaulting a man in a Tesco toilet.

Papua New Guinea weightlifter Toua Udia, 22, was accused of touching the 41-year-old as he helped the athlete apply an ice pack.

The alleged victim said Udia had his left leg up on the sink and was trying to tie a bandage round it and he asked him "Are you okay?".

The witness claimed Udia asked him to help tie the bandage and while he did Udia touched his private part with two fingers.

After a trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court sheriff Martin Jones QC acquitted Udia on a not proven verdict of sexually assaulting the man on July 21.

He said: I have listened carefully to all of the evidence in this case. I start by reminding everyone that it is for the Crown to prove the case against you beyond reasonable doubt.

"That's a very high standard, it's not an impossible standard but it's a high standard and correctly so because if the state bring the charges, the state must prove it beyond reasonable doubt.

"Having regard to all of the evidence and in particular all of the circumstances of this case, I'm not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the Crown have proved this case against you and I acquit you on a verdict of not proven."

Udia hugged those in court who were there to support him.

Speaking outside court after the verdict defence lawyer Ian Moir said: "Mr Udia has maintained his innocence throughout and is delighted with the outcome of the case. He now wishes to put this matter behind him and is looking forward to returning to see his family."

In evidence the man said he went into male toilets at the Tesco on Dalmarnock Road in Rutherglen with his partner's 11-year-old son.

He said once the schoolboy left toilet he heard voices and people coming into the toilets.

The man said he heard one person being asked if he was here for the games but they said no they were visiting family, and the other person said they were here for the games.

Procurator fiscal depute Adele MacDonald asked: "Where they speaking English?" he replied "Yes" and said that it was fluent English.

The witness said the last thing he heard, seconds before coming out of the cubicle he was in was one of the men saying "Good luck in the games".

Miss MacDonald asked: "How many people were in the toilet at that point?"

He answered: "Myself and the accused."

The witness said Udia was wearing clothes he recognised as being from the Papua New Guinea team.

The man told the court Udia was standing at the sink with his left foot on sink trying to tie a bandage round his calf.

He said: "I came out the cubicle, I saw him with his left leg up trying to tie something around his calf. I turned and asked him 'are you okay'?"

The witness said Udia told him he was trying to apply an ice pack. He said: "I continued to wash my hands at the sink and the guy asked me if I could help tie the bandage."

The court was told he was at Udia's right had side initially but was told to go to his left hand side.

Miss MacDonald asked: "Were you quite happy to go round and help him with his bandage at that point?"

The alleged victim said: "I was just helping him tie a bandage."

He described taking hold of the bandage and Udia asking him to pull it tighter.

The man said: "As I was doing so Mr Udia put his hand right between my legs." He repeated: "Mr Udia's left hand went between my legs."

He told the court Udia touched him on the private part twice with two fingers and described it as a "cup".

The man claimed he said "hey" to Udia. He told the court: "He looked at me and smiled as though it was normal, a wee kind of smirk as though it was fine."

He said told the court: "I just about turned and left, I was angry."

PC Jamie Karr said that he was called to an incident at the Tesco Extra store in Rutherglen around 5.30pm.

PC Karr added: "The accused was in the back of a police vehicle and he was wearing a Papua New Guinea Commonwealth tracksuit."

The police officer was asked if Udia said anything and replied: "Yes." And added: "He stated that he had just been within the toilets in Tesco and he was attempting to apply an ice pack to his left calf which he had injured.

"He showed me a bag of ice and a white t-shirt and said he had been tying it round his calf to hold the ice pack in place.

"He then said a male exited a cubicle and he asked the male for assistance to tie the ice pack tighter on his leg.

"He then said both him and the other man were pulling at each end of the t-shirt when his hand slipped and accidentally hit the male.

"He then pointed at his groin area as if to suggest that's where he had hit him."