Lanarkshire cop Alexander Murphy avoids jail after plying kids with booze and sexually assaulting a schoolgirl

Alexander Murphy, 49, went “from Police Constable to tagged criminal” following his actions at a house party in Uddingston.

A police officer who sexually assaulted a schoolgirl at a house party in Uddingston has been spared jail.

PC Alexander Murphy was slammed by Sheriff Mungo Bovey QC after plying the teen and other underage girls with alcohol.

Sheriff Bovey QC told Murphy, who has been suspended on full pay for more than two years, he had gone “from Police Constable to tagged criminal”.

Murphy, who has resigned from the force but remains an officer until the end of next month, appeared shamefaced in the dock at Hamilton Sheriff Court for sentencing.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to touching the 15-year-old inappropriately – after previously telling her that she was his ‘favourite’ and that he thought she was ‘cute – but not in a paedophile way’.

The court heard he asked her if she would “come up to bed and stay” if he did a handstand for her – and touched his crotch while doing gymnastics moves.

The judge could have jailed Murphy, 49, for up to 12 months after he pleaded guilty to sexual assault and breach of the peace.

But he opted to spare him jail and said: “I’m going to follow the recommendation of social workers, notwithstanding my reservations.”

He placed Murphy on a Community Payback Order (CPO) which will see him supervised by social workers for two years and fined him £1000.

He also banned him from having any unsupervised contact with girls under the age of 16, unless it is signed off by the social worker supervising him on the CPO.

And he placed him on a Restriction of Liberty Order, which will see him fitted with an electronic tag and having to remain within his home in Paisley, Renfrewshire, between 7pm and 7am every day for the next six months.

The sentences were imposed as direct alternatives to a custodial sentence and, as he imposed them, Sheriff Bovey said: “This will take you from being Police Constable to tagged criminal”.

Murphy was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for two years.

Last month Murphy admitted sexually assaulting the girl, who can’t be named for legal reasons, and committing a breach of the peace by supplying alcohol to underage girls and making inappropriate remarks to them.

The offences took place at a house party in Uddingston, Lanarkshire, on March 8, 2019.

Murphy took a group of girls, including the one he would sexually assault, to a local off-sales, buying Dragon Soup and a bottle of Echo Falls wine for each of them.

They all started drinking and he said more people could attend – but only girls because he “wanted a girlfriend”.

He went back to the shop to get more alcohol for the girls who’d arrived, and bought a litre of vodka.

He sold it on to two other girls who did not have any alcohol, by measuring it into the equivalent of two quarter bottles and charging them £5 each.

He then started acting inappropriately, asking the girls their ages and saying, “I better not tell my wife, I’ll get into trouble”.

He put his hand on to one of the girls’ knees and rubbed it, while she was sitting down, then placed his hands on her hips while they were dancing.

And the court heard he had previously said to the girl, ‘You’re my favourite, you’re a wee cutie. You’ve got a cute smile, but I don’t mean it in a paedophile way’.

While he was doing “some sort of gymnastics move” Murphy, who served as a Police Constable in Livingston, touched his crotch.

The matter was later reported to police and Murphy admitted what he’d done.

Defence solicitor Iain Cahill said Murphy had “recklessly” touched the girl sexually “as opposed to intentionally touching her sexually”.

And he said Murphy “accepts wholly his behaviour was unacceptable and irresponsible”.

Police Scotland confirmed that Murphy had been suspended when the allegations came to light.

Superintendent Maxine Martin said: “Alexander Murphy’s behaviour fell well below that required of a police officer and our thoughts today are with those affected by his offending.

“He was quickly suspended after this incident was reported and, had he not resigned, the circumstances would be considered by the Professional Standards Department for the purposes of gross misconduct following the conclusion of the criminal proceedings.”

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