It's hard not to laugh at this story, and that's part of the appalling harm that has been done to the victim:
A man caught trying to have sex with his bicycle has been sentenced to three years on probation.I'm making a particular point, incidentally, of not reproducing his name. Here's what happened:
Mr [X] was caught in the act with his bicycle by cleaners in his bedroom at the Aberley House Hostel in Ayr.Masturbation is very common and few people would wish their habits in this sphere of life to become public knowledge. This man took pains to ensure he would not be interrupted by anyone. He locked his door. This was opened with a pass key. What steps could he have taken to prevent that? Piling furniture against the door? And in what way is private masturbation with an inanimate object - any inanimate object - a crime?
Gail Davidson, prosecuting, told Ayr Sheriff Court: "They knocked on the door several times and there was no reply.
"They used a master key to unlock the door and they then observed the accused wearing only a white t-shirt, naked from the waist down.
"The accused was holding the bike and moving his hips back and forth as if to simulate sex."
Everyone involved in this sorry affair, except the man taken to court, is a disgrace. The cleaners who unlocked the door should have had the decency to tiptoe out and lock it again behind them. The hotel manager should have told them this when they reported it to him. The police should have told the hotel manager not to waste their time. The prosecuting authority should have told the police not to waste public time and money with such matters, the court should have thrown the case out and reprimanded all concerned - except the accused, whose identity should have been suppressed by court order.
Instead this harmless, blameless man has been branded a sex criminal. It is a complete travesty of justice.