A 64-YEAR-OLD man who groped a female supermarket worker in Cowdenbeath has avoided a jail sentence.

Alan Smith later told police he was “having a laugh” and the young woman must have been “in a bad mood not to have seen the funny side”.

A sheriff said he had reservations about not jailing Smith but instead gave him unpaid work.

The incident was caught on CCTV and shown at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

The video showed Smith approaching the woman from behind and touching the inside of her leg.

He then walked back and did the same thing again to the shocked victim.

Smith, of Maxwell Crescent, Cowdenbeath, appeared for sentencing.

He had admitted that on January 27 last year, at Morrisons supermarket, Raith Centre, Cowdenbeath, he sexually assaulted a female employee by approaching her from behind and touching her repeatedly on the inner thigh.

Depute fiscal Azrah Yousaf told the court previously that Smith later said to police that he was “having a laugh and that she must have been in a bad mood not to have seen the funny side”.

Defence solicitor Michelle Renton said: “He has nothing of this nature on his record. Given how embarrassed he is, he’s unlikely to do anything like this again.

“He was on his way home from a public house and so the alcohol did not help his judgment.”

Sheriff James Macdonald said: “This was not a reckless act as you claimed to the social worker. This was deliberate conduct. You’re not of good character as you have previous convictions.”

The sheriff said he had “reservations” about not imposing a jail sentence.

However, instead, he imposed a community payback order with 200 hours of unpaid work and 18 months’ supervision.

Smith was also put on the sex offenders' register for 18 months.