Dundee United groundsman admits stadium sex attack

Tannadice, home of Dundee United. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Tannadice, home of Dundee United. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A groundsman at Dundee United football club faced a jail sentence yesterday after admitting sexually assaulting a club worker in the Tannadice stands.

Albert Dawson, who is also the club’s stadium manager, attacked the woman in the East Stand at the Premiership club’s ground in 2011, Dundee Sheriff Court heard.

Dawson walked up behind her as she carried out her job near a catering kiosk and said: “What are you doing?” He then stood behind her and put his arms around her, pulling her close to him.

Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court: “He then touched her breasts over her clothing, put his hands between her legs and cupping her genitals over her clothing for a few seconds.

“She ran out of the stand and found a groundsman who was nearby and told him what was happening. The groundsman could see she was upset. She

subsequently went home, still upset and crying, and told her partner about the incident.”

The woman raised a complaint with her line manager at the club but said she did not want police involved at that point. Dawson was confronted by club bosses and admitted the incident had taken place, saying: “I grabbed her from behind.”

But despite admitting the

attack Dawson was only given a warning and allowed to keep his job.

Ms Robertson added: “The

accused did not speak to the complainer for some time, however, at the start of last football season he made a further coment towards her that made her feel uncomfortable and it was at this point she decided to report the incident to police.

“She was hysterically upset while disclosing the matter to them. The following week she left her job and went on sick leave.

“The accused was interviewed in relation to this matter by police and said, ‘I held my hands up to that – I had been mucking about with the lass and I went too far’.

“He admitted he had cupped her genitals and could not provide any defence for his actions.”

Dawson, 49, of Victoria Street, Forfar, pleaded guilty on summary complaint to a charge of sexually assaulting the woman at Tannadice Park on one occasion between 1 February 2011 and 30 April 2011.

Bob Bruce, defending, said he would speak in mitigation for Dawson at a sentencing date.

Sheriff Tom Hughes deferred sentence for social work reports until next month. He said: “You will be subject to the sex offenders’ register from today.”

Dawson has looked after the pitch at Tannadice since 2000.

He became the first person to win the Scottish Groundsman of the Year award, given out by the Institute of Groundsmanship.