A FORMER Alloa FC player is to remain on the sex offenders' register for 18 months for groping a woman at a nightclub Halloween party.

Isaac Layne was spared a jail sentence when he appeared at Stirling Sheriff court last Thursday for sentencing.

He was found guilty of sexual assault, by rubbing the thighs and grazing the underwear of the woman, after a trial last month.

The 23-year-old continues to deny the offence and claimed he would appeal.

Layne attended the dress-up night at Dusk in Stirling before approaching the 20-year-old, who was dressed as Edward Scissorhands.

She said he "wouldn't leave her alone" on the dancefloor before breaking down in tears.

Layne was placed on the sex offenders' register and given a supervision order by the court.

He will also carry out unpaid work, having been given extra time to complete the 120 hours so he can fit in the hours round his playing duties with Stranraer FC.

Sheriff Wyllie Robertson told him: "Normally someone who is denying the circumstances of which they have been found guilty would not be suitable for supervision, but the author of the social work report says there are some areas that would be beneficial because of certain factors.

"I am prepared to consider that."

The sheriff added that rather than requiring Layne to complete his unpaid work order in six months, as is usual, he would allow him 12.

He told Layne that this was "because of your employment situation and the difficulties that may arise from regular, routine appointments during the week".

He said: "That sentence is an alternative to custody."

Layne's lawyer, Robert Smith, earlier asked the sheriff for leniency.

He said: "He's a young man who's had an unfortunate personal background, with the death of his mother at an early age and the lack of involvement of his father in his life.

"He was effectively brought up by his eldest brother.

"He has been employed since he was 17 in the professional football world."

At trial, the young woman said she became aware of a black male in an unbuttoned shirt – who turned out to be Layne – dancing "very, very close" behind her.

She continued: "He came up behind me and put his hands on my waist. He was trying to grind on me.

"He put his hand under my skirt on my thighs, three to four inches above my knee and I felt his hands graze my underwear.

"They were on the bikini line of my pants.

"He wouldn't go away. He was putting his hands on my legs and moving them onto my thighs.

"I wasn't wearing tights and I could feel his hands going onto my upper thighs."

The woman went to the toilet, where she burst into tears, but after a friend calmed her down she agreed to go back on the dance floor, only for Layne to approach her again.

She said: "We were dancing right in front of the DJ.

"He continued trying to dance with me, again being very handsy, putting his hands on my waist.

"I was quite unnerved and scared."

The woman's friends spoke to bouncers and Layne, a first offender, of Springburn, Glasgow – and formerly of Alloa – was ejected from the club.

The incident occurred on the night of October 31 and into November 1 of last year.

After sentencing, Layne told a reporter: "I'm innocent, and I'm going to appeal before you destroy me."