A WEE COUNTY lollipop man aimed a barrage of sexual comments at women and a schoolgirl while on duty.

Hugh Craig admitted uttering the crude remarks while working a traffic patrol officer in Armadale, West Lothian.

The lecherous 70-year-old, from Alloa, was first reported to the authorities in 2014 after he brought an innocent conversation about the cold weather into the gutter.

When a woman noticed he had small hand warmers in his gloves he waved his hands up and down and told her: "This is how you make me feel down there".

Livingston Sheriff Court was told the woman felt uncomfortable and "believed the accused was referring to his penis".

She reported the matter to his employers, West Lothian Council, but the local authority took no further action at the time.

In 2017, Craig told another mum taking her children to school: "I know where I would like those lips" and pointed to his penis.

The woman told police she "felt disgusted" and called the school when she got home to tell staff what had happened.

Then, in 2018, Craig turned his attentions to a 16-year-old girl who was walking to school on her own.

He said to the teenager: "I need to stop flirting with you."

She told police she felt even more uncomfortable after he added: "The things I'd like to do to you".

When the teenager told him she had to go home Craig commented: "Come and see me at home time."

Police launched an inquiry and charged the lollipop man with a total of seven sexual offences.

In reply he told them: "It's nonsense" but he later pleaded guilty to committing three of the offences.

He admitted directing verbal sexual communications at the two mums for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification or humiliating, distressing or alarming them and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear and alarm to the 16-year-old.

His pleas of not guilty to uttering inappropriate sexual remarks towards three women and an 11-year-old girl were accepted by the prosecution.

Darryl Lovie, defending, said his client had expressed considerable regret and remorse for his behaviour in which suggestive comments were made to individuals.

He said: "The direct consequences have been fairly devastating for him. While he fully accepts he has been the author of his own misfortune he's lost a considerable amount in terms of his personal life."

He claimed the offences had resulted in the loss of Craig's job, the breakdown of his relationship with his former partner and a significant deterioration in his mental health.

He said: "Additionally, individuals within the community have taken it upon them selves to create as much difficulty for him as is possible."

He said malicious reports had been made to the police and a flyer and poster campaign had been launched where he lived in Pine Grove, Alloa.

Mr Lovie added: "He is relatively isolated from society and the direct consequences of what he accepts was his own behaviour have been far-reaching and will be long-lasting."

He said there was scope for education and rehabilitation to ensure Craig did not offend again.

Sheriff John MacRitchie made the pensioner subject to 12 months' supervision under a community payback order and added his name to the sex offenders' register for a year.

He told the accused: "Your conduct must have been seriously alarming to the women and girl involved.

"However, I accept that you are a first offender who is 70 years of age and that you have not been involved in anything previously."

He said Craig needed assistance so that you would never again cause the alarm by his comments when he was in a position of trust with young people.