A man who asked an 11-year-old girl to marry him during incidents at a Motherwell swimming pool has been admonished after spending the length of his proposed sentence behind bars.
Peter Oshiogbhe (40), of King Street, Lagos Island, Nigeria, was admonished and dismissed yesterday (Tuesday) at Hamilton Sheriff Court after spending four months locked up since committing four offences in July. Sheriff Vincent Smith said that he was allowing the Nigerian tourist to walk free as the sentence he would have imposed for the crimes – dated between July 6 and 9 – would have been a period of four months’ imprisonment.
Married Oshiogbhe was remanded in custody after propositioning, pointing and blowing kisses at three girls, two of whom were aged 13 and the other 11 years, during incidents at Motherwell’s Aquatec centre in the school summer holidays.
The court heard that Oshiogbhe, visiting the country on a six-month tourist visa, pointed and blew kisses at the girls when they were taking part in free swimming lessons on July 6.
When one of the 13-year-olds left the pool to go to the toilet, Oshiogbhe followed her, asked her name and how old she was. The girl told the 40-year-old that she was “a lot younger” than him. He then replied by saying: “I’m only 27, it’s not illegal, just snog me. Marry me, I love you deeply.” Afraid, the young girl locked herself in a toilet.
When the 11-year-old girl left the pool to go to the locker area, Oshiogbhe asked her: “Will you go out with me?” The girl started crying and her friends told a nearby lifeguard. At that point Mr Oshiogbhe ran away.
Three days later he returned to the leisure centre where the girls were again taking part in a free swimming initiative. Oshiogbhe gestured towards them and blew kisses. Pointing at the same 13-year-old girl from earlier in the week, he then simulated to her to turn around and bend over, before taking his jumper off, showing his stomach and flexing his biceps. Using a hand-to-mouth gesture, Oshiogbhe then simulated an oral sex act to the girls and pointed his mobile phone towards them.
The girls spoke to a lifeguard who asked Oshiogbhe to leave the pool area. They told their parents, who contacted police.
Oshiogbhe was remanded in custody. He pleaded guilty to the charges on August 16 and was kept in custody. His defence told the court this is marketing manager Oshiogbhe’s first visit to the UK and he has a tourist visa until December 8.