A MAN who sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl in New Cumnock has been warned he could be sent back to custody if he doesn’t clean up his act.

Kieran McLaughlin was remanded at the Polmont young offenders institution near Falkirk after he pleaded guilty to attacking the girl last year.

He admitted repeatedly trying to kiss her, pulling her towards him, seizing her upper inner thigh and pulling her on to a bed on top of him.

McLaughlin was aged 19 at the time of the incident, on November 11, last year, but has since turned 20.

Having been remanded in Polmont while awaiting sentence, McLaughlin was then told to carry out a community payback order (CPO), meaning he regained his freedom.

But at a CPO review hearing held at Ayr Sheriff Court last week, McLaughlin’s solicitor, Steven Maxwell, said there were “ongoing difficulties” with his client’s completion of the order.

In particular, the court heard, there were issues with McLaughlin and a group of friends he was associating with in Lanarkshire.

She added: "Your friends are the sort you shouldn't be around. You think I'm stupid. Where is the self destruct button you keep pressing.

"There are three things you need to do, stop drinking, grow up, and lose the friends.

"If the next report is anything like this, you better bring a bag."

Sentencing had been deferred for criminal justice social work reports as well as a psychiatric assessment while the accused was in Polmont.  

However, Sheriff MacTaggart raised concerns about McLaughlin's attitude to his offending after he pleaded guilty to the crime. 

She added: "This is not some silly offence. This is a sexual offence on indictment.”    

McLaughlin was placed on the CPO in July and told he would be supervised by social workers for 30 months.

His name will remain on the sex offenders register for the same period.

As a condition of the order, McLaughlin must tell his supervisors of all his relationships, and is only allowed to live in accommodation that has been deemed appropriate by social workers.

He is also banned from having unsupervised contact with anyone under 18, and must not approach or contact the victim of his assault, or engage with other registered sex offenders. 

He was told he must also undertake a community mental health service assessment and was ordered to undertake any focused work as directed by supervisors. 

A not guilty plea to a second allegation of sending sexually indecent messages was accepted by prosecutors.  

He will return to Ayr Sheriff Court for another review later in the year.