Man, 33, fined for sexually touching female police officer in Carlisle as Rangers and Celtic fans travelled south for match to beat pub ban

A 33-year-old man has been fined for sexually assaulting a female police officer in Carlisle as Rangers and Celtic fans travelled south of the border to watch the Old Firm clash to beat a pub ban in October.

Mark Halliday, of Stonyhurst Street in Glasgow, was found guilty of sexually touching the officer and sentenced to a four month community order with curfew at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court on Friday. He was ordered to pay court costs of £620, a victim surcharge of £95 and £200 compensation to his victim.

The court heard that on October 17 last year, during the pandemic and against public health advice, Halliday travelled with two friends from Glasgow to Carlisle for a drinking session.

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His victim, a female police officer, was patrolling an area at Carlisle railway station with her male colleagues as Rangers and Celtic fans travelled to the city to watch the televised football match.

Carlisle railway station. Pic: Google

Halliday was heading out of the station’s main entrance with his two friends but deviated from his route when he spotted the female police officer, walked directly behind her and touched her bottom.

He was subsequently arrested and an investigation was conducted by British Transport Police.

In a police interview he claimed his actions were nothing more than a joke and that ‘boys will be boys’.

Inspector Garry Ashbridge said: “Halliday’s appalling attitude towards women is clear from his response. He clearly has no respect for his victim, refusing to plead guilty and attempting to play down a sexual assault as nothing more than a joke. Unwanted sexual behaviour of any kind has no place in society and absolutely no place on the railway, whether directed towards the public, rail staff or our officers.

“I would urge anyone subjected to, or witness to, unwanted sexual behaviour on the railway to text us on 61016. In an emergency, always call 999.

“No report is too small or trivial, and we will always take you seriously. Everyone has the right to a safe journey.”

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