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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Man warned over cone sex
Traffic cones
Watt picked up the cone and simulated sex with it
A man who simulated sex with a traffic cone in an Edinburgh street has escaped with a warning after appearing in court.

Ross Watt, 34, is a registered sex offender with previous convictions that include simulating sex with a training shoe in a public place.

He was arrested and charged last year after he encouraged a group of teenagers to watch his interaction with the cone at the foot of the city's Calton Hill.

At the time of the offence, he was already on probation for hitting himself in the groin area with a trainer as he stood in the front window of his Edinburgh flat.

Watt, who is undergoing psychiatric counselling at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, was admonished after appearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Many people appeared to be encouraging his behaviour at the time and many were probably disappointed there was not a repeat performance during the festival this year
Andy Gilbertson
Defence lawyer
However he was given a strong warning not to repeat the "disgusting behaviour" again.

The court heard how Mr Watt had approached groups of teenagers in the city, asking if they would sell him their trainers.

When they refused he offered to give them a public show with the cone and they soon circled their cars around the fetishist, shouting "give it some" to urge him on.

His lawyer Andy Gilbertson had argued that his act had been like a piece of Edinburgh Fringe street theatre, but the sheriff said it amounted to a breach of the peace.

He told Sheriff Mhairi Stephen: "Many people appeared to be encouraging his behaviour at the time and many were probably disappointed there was not a repeat performance during the festival this year. Hopefully he has finally learned his lesson."

'Disgusted and embarrassed'

Sheriff Stephen was also told that Watt already had a huge network of support at the public's expense all working to tackle his offending.

"Undoubtedly other people seemed to have derived a lot of humour and amusement from what transpired," she said.

"Likewise others were not of a similar mind and were pretty upset by what happened.

"I will not make an order that would increase the public resources deployed on you and will admonish you. This does not diminish the seriousness of your behaviour or the consequences if you continue to behave in this manner."

During Watt's trial last year, witness Lisa Cameron, 21, told Edinburgh Sheriff Court: "I drove across the road to see what he was doing and watched him pick up the cone - I was disgusted and embarrassed."

The performance lasted about 20 minutes before police officers arrived to see Watt, who appeared sober, replacing the cone at the side of Regent Road near the Scottish Executive departments in St Andrew's House.




SEE ALSO:
Sex offender spared jail
12 Nov 02  |  Scotland


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