Cop who groped mum and daughter escapes jail

A POLICEMAN who groped a mother and daughter as they worked in a village bowling club has escaped jail – even though the sheriff admitted he deserved to be jailed.

Off-duty Andrew Burt, 49, was visiting Cockenzie and Port Seton Bowling Club to attend a presentation night when he slapped a 21-year-old's bottom as she collected glasses at the busy function.

Burt then moved on to her mother as she smoked a cigarette outside the club, groping her between the legs.

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Both women were shocked by the advances and reported him to police the next day.

It was only when they recounted the tale to other members of the club that they discovered that Burt himself was a law enforcer.

A third woman also came forward to complain about Burt’s "over-friendliness".

Pc Burt could now lose his job with Lothian and Borders Police after being found guilty of three counts of indecent assault.

The court previously heard how a number of visiting bowlers attended for a league presentation. Among the visitors was 49-year-old Burt, who was unknown to all of his victims. However, while the 21-year-old was collecting glasses, she felt a hand smack her "quite hard".

When confronted by the women later in the evening, Burt simply shrugged it off and left the club.

At Haddington Sheriff Court, David Hunter, acting for Burt, said his client was acting completely out of character on the night in question.

He said: "Mr Burt's behaviour on that night was inconsistent with previous conduct and has taken many people by surprise."

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He also said that, as a policeman, the conviction could cost Burt his career.

Burt was handed 150 hours of community service and placed on probation and the sex offenders' register for three years at Haddington Sheriff Court today.

Sheriff Graeme Warner said Burt had got off lightly with the sentence. He said: "If community service didn't exist I wouldn't have any hesitation in ordering a custodial sentence. A case such as this is truly deserving of custody."

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "This officer will be subject to misconduct proceedings."

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