Young dad from Law is convicted of '˜flashing'

A jury on Friday found Ryan Hill (23), from Law, guilty on eight charges of indecency, including 'flashing' at women in Carluke

Lanark Sheriff Court

The offences all dated back to 2014, some exactly two years before the trial at Lanark Sheriff Court.

The women, some just schoolgirls at the time, spoke of being confronted by a man in Wilton Road, Carluke, Benty’s Lane, Carluke High Street, and Rankin Street, and in locations in Wishaw and Strathaven.

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One of the later incidents took place on November 20, 2014, in a lane near Gillbank Avenue, Carluke.

A CCTV image from that day showed a man in a tracksuit and body warmer running in Clyde Street and further CCTV images from the BP garage showed Hill in similar clothing driving a Honda Accord.

Police officers stopped him in that car in December, and detained him.

“I’m getting lifted for flashing,” Hill called to his passenger as he was detained.

Some of the witnesses when the trial began were unable to identify Hill; but others were positive it was him.

Giving evidence himself Hill insisted they had all been mistaken.

The father of one denied committing any of the offences, saying that it was not in his nature.

“Isn’t it the case you are simply a prowler?” depute fiscal Ziad Hassan put to Hill.

“You were on the prowl,” saied Mr Hassan.

“You saw the opportunity and you took it without any hesitation. That was your plan, to expose yourself to these women at a quiet time of day when they were walking alone, including young schoolgirls.

‘‘You knew where the quiet streets are; you knew when it was quiet.”

He accused Hill of “shameless, offending behaviour”, and when Hill still protested that it had not been him, Mr Hassan said that there were “far too many coincidences”.

“You used (your) vehicles to go out on the prowl looking for young women to flash at,” he said.

Mr Hassan withdrew one of the charges at the close of the Crown case on Wednesday - an allegation that Hill had been beckoning a woman at Lanark Loch - brought as a breach of the peace causing her fear and alarm.

The woman, who had been walking her dog at lunchtime on November 27, spoke of seeing a man on a lonely narrow path beckoning to her, and reappearing behind her as she headed back to her car, in an incident that left her scared.

Identification was an issue throughout the case; Hill’s agent wanted five of the charges dropped at the end of the Crown Case. Sheriff R Weir turned that down, but Mr Hassan then withdrew the Lanark Loch charge.

The jury on Friday found Hill guilty of eight of the remaining charges; not guilty of an incident said to have taken place in Chestnut Grove, Carluke on November 29, and found one involving a young mother with her toddler on Benty’s Lane not proven.

Sentence was deferred for background and psychiatric reports.