Man sexually assaulted Motherwell woman as she slept

Hamilton Sheriff  CourtHamilton Sheriff  Court
Hamilton Sheriff Court
A man has been jailed for two years after sexually assaulting a woman while she was sleeping at a house in Motherwell.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that when the victim realised what was happening, mechanic Colin Gierthy begged her not to tell her mother who was asleep upstairs.

Gierthy, 56, of Mayfield Place, Carluke, denied assaulting the woman on March 2, 2019, but a jury found him guilty after trial. A charge that he caused the woman to be "stupified" by slipping street valium into her drink before molesting her was found not proven.

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The woman, who was 30 at the time of the assault, told prosecutor Neil Thomson that she'd "had three or four vodkas, then blank". She had been sitting on a chair but woke up on a couch and felt Gierthy touching her private parts. The woman said her underwear had been pulled down and Gierthy appeared to be pulling up his jogging bottoms.

When challenged he replied 'It's not what it looks like'. The woman told the jury Gierthy put his hands in a praying position and pleaded 'Please don't tell your mum.” – but she woke her mum then told her.

Gierthy was thrown out of the house despite his protests that he had done nothing wrong and had only been trying to help the woman upstairs.

In a statement to police, the woman said she woke to find Gierthy kneeling beside the couch in the living room. She stated: 'I felt I was being touched and realised my pants had been pulled down. I woke up before he got the chance to do any more. I asked him what he was doing and pushed him out of the way.'

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Cross-examined by Gierthy's lawyer, the woman rejected the suggestion that he had only been trying to pull up her underwear before helping her get to bed. She told the lawyer: "I've had nightmares ever since this happened. I'm not telling lies."

Gierthy’s lawyer said he continues to deny any wrongdoing. He has only one previous conviction - for a domestic assault - and has been assessed as being at low risk of further offending.

Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen said Gierthy had been found guilty of an “opportunistic “ sexual assault. Gierthy will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.