A young surveyor wept in the dock yesterday as he was found guilty of assaulting a door steward who caught him exposing himself in an Aberdeen fast food restaurant.
During a “drunken escapade” Alexander Niven “flashed” at customers at the McDonald’s restaurant in Union Street.
Then, as he was being escorted out of the building by the store’s security staff, the 23-year-old punched one of them in the face.
Niven had been on trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday charged with public indecency and assault, but denied the charges.
He claimed that although he was being disruptive and rowdy in the shop he said he never exposed himself, nor did he hit Barnabas Nlemchi.
But Sheriff Morag McLaughlin took just a few minutes to find the first offender guilty of both charges and said Niven had “not been credible” when giving evidence on his own behalf.
The court heard the Abu Dhabi-based surveyor now faces losing his job as his convictions will make it difficult for him to obtain the necessary work visas.
Giving evidence during the trial, Niven’s victim Mr Nlemchi said he had spotted the accused entering the fast-food shop around 2am on November 27.
He said: “The young man walked into McDonald’s. He looked a bit drunk at the time, There were other people with him and he was pushing customers.”
The court heard that Mr Nlemchi and his colleague asked Niven to leave on at least three occasions before he had to be forcibly removed.
Mr Nlemchi said Niven stood close to a table to the right of the front door, unzipped his trousers and exposed himself.
Fiscal depute Katie Begg asked Mr Nlemchi if people could see what happened.
He replied: “Yes, I could see. It was just like a flash.”
Mr Nlemchi said that some of the men at the table were laughing at him but that the women seemed offended.
Mr Nlemchi and his colleague took hold of Niven by the arms before escorting him outside.
He said as he was at the door and letting go of the accused Niven turned round and hit him in the face, causing his lip to bleed.
The court heard Niven was then restrained and the police were called.
Giving evidence on his own behalf Niven, of 18 Moray Place, Aberdeen, said that although he was drunk that night he could remember being in McDonald’s.
He admitted that his behaviour had been out of character but vehemently denied indecently exposing himself and carrying out the assault.
His agent, solicitor Peter Shepherd, asked him if he had come to court to lie in order to protect himself.
Niven replied: “No, absolutely not.”#
He asked him, if he had been guilty of the offences, would he “hold his hands up and admit to it”. He said he would.
Niven also called two of his friends as witnesses who had been with him at McDonald’s that night.
Co-op worker James Gordon said he had been fighting with his girlfriend that evening so his attention was not focused on Niven the whole time they were in the restaurant.
He said that he did not at any point see Niven exposing himself, nor did he see an assault.
Euan Adam also said he did not see the assault and told the court he was in the perfect position outside the shop to see what was going on.
He said he was unaware of what had happened in the restaurant.
Convicting Niven, Sheriff McLaughlin said the outcome of the trial came down purely to who’s evidence she believed.
She said both Crown witnesses were “credible and reliable” and said: “If I believe the Crown witnesses then I am bound to convict you because they are each quite clear in what the said, so either they made it up or they didn’t.”
She fined him a total of £700.