Ex-Glasgow Uni curling club president cleared of sexual assault claims
The former president of the curling club was cleared in court for fellow student’s sexual assault claims on a Freshers’ night out
A former Glasgow University curling club president has been cleared of accusations of sexually assaulting a student.
The now-23-year-old BDO trainee and former Curling Club President Andrew Cromar was accused of groping a now-22-year-old woman’s breasts on one of the sports club’s nights out during Freshers’, Glasgow Times reports.
The alleged incident was claimed to have happened at Revolution bar in the centre of Glasgow. The female student said she was shocked as she thought and called Andrew Cromar her “friend”.
Cromar denied the single charge of sexual assault.
Gail Campbell, the prosecutor, asked the witness if anything had happened. The witness said: “He put his hands on my shoulders to say goodbye. As he was saying goodbye, he moved his hands from my shoulders to my chest.” She said it lasted for 10-15 seconds.
The witness said he then moved both of his hands further down to touch her hips.
After refuting suggestions it might have been Cromar acting friendly, the witness said: “I would never interpret someone touching my breasts without permission as a friendly gesture.”
The witness, who remains anonymous, said she felt “quite uncomfortable” after. “I was a bit taken aback by what happened and didn’t realise what had happened until after it.”
The female student claimed she took up the complaint to the university but claims nothing had happened before involving the police.
John Scullion, defending Cromar, said she did not include Cromar touching her hips in her police statement, which the witness then confirmed.
Scullion asked her if “no-one reacted and no-one said anything?”, which the witness then replied: “If that’s how you want to describe it then yes.”
The witness stated earlier that her new friend, now-29-year-old Alex Leek, who was also at the table in Revolution, asked if Cromar was her boyfriend after the alleged incident.
The woman said she did not discuss the alleged incident with any other friends. However, Leek told the court that the witness did discuss the alleged event with friends.
In his evidence, Cromar stated that he put his arms around the witness and that she was still. The defendant, Scullion, asked Cromar: “Did she move at any point?”, to which Cromar said she “moved backwards”, which at “that point (his) hands moved down towards her hips.”
Cromar said after these allegations he has stopped curling and was put on anti-depressants. Prosecutor Campbell put it to the witness that he had “a lot to lose”, which Cromar then responded with: “Do I?”.
Cromar however later told the court that he didn’t “really understand” what she meant by saying he had a lot to lose.
Overall, Sheriff David Taylor decided that Leek’s testimony of the witness telling her friends about the alleged incident was “not an issue of reliability but credibility”.
Taylor said: “Mr Leek’s evidence was that the woman told friends about what happened on the evening. The woman’s position was quite clear that she didn’t say anything to her friends.
“It is not an issue of reliability but credibility – I don’t believe Mr Leek was telling the truth about that important matter which casts a shadow over his credibility on the evidence as a whole.
“There was no corroboration after Mr Leek for the woman’s account and I find the charge not proven.”