A SLEAZY sex offender who fondled a 13-year-old schoolgirl’s breasts in the back of a corner shop claimed he was a “doting dad” with a wife and twins back in Pakistan.

Zakir Ullah bribed the teenage girl with free sweets and juice before groping her in a convenience store in Livingston, West Lothian, a court heard.

The man, who is currently residing in Fife, admitted sexually assaulting the under-age youngster by putting his arms around her body, hugging her, kissing her on the head and placing his hands on her chest during the sordid incident in Eliburn Minimarket on 25 February 2020.

Livingston Sheriff Court was told the teenager was “scared and shocked” by his behaviour and was “visibly shaking” when she went home and told her mum what had happened.

Her mother immediately took her back to the shop and challenged 27-year-old Ullah about his behaviour before phoning the police.

A security video which captured the encounter clearly shows Ullah placing his hand first of all on the left breast of the girl and then on her right breast before walking away from her.

Ullah fainted in the dock at Livingston Sheriff Court when the damning footage was first screened and the court had to be adjourned while he recovered.

In the video he hands the girl a bottle of juice then points back to the storeroom asking her if she wanted anything from there.

However, she declines and he takes a bag and fills it with the goods that he has passed to her.

The youngster was described as “feeling confused” by Ullah's behaviour because she was thinking she should pay for the shopping he had handed her, but he gestured at her to leave the store without paying.

Following her ordeal she tearfully pleaded with her mum: “Never ask me to go to that store again”.

Ullah, a restaurant worker who is also a mature student, gave a new address in Fife after previously living in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Ryan Sloan, defending, claimed in mitigation that the incident had been a “a misunderstanding” but Ullah now recognised the effect his actions must have had on the youngster.

He said the Pakistani national had come to the UK in 2020 and had no previous convictions either here or in his home country.

He was studying part time at university for a Masters degree in Business Administration, funded by his father, while working full time and sending “every spare penny he earned” back to his wife and twin children in Pakistan.

He said: "He appears to be something of a doting father although of course he is currently separated from his family.

"He works five days a week in restaurants and sends every spare penny he earns back to his family in Pakistan.

"He tells me he had to leave Pakistan due to issues around his need to engage in an arranged marriage."

Mr Sloan said Ullah’s university course was due to end in February and his visa would expire in September, but at that stage he hoped to make a life in this country and reunite with his family.

Passing sentence, Sheriff John MacRitchie told Ullah: “Touching the chest of a 13-year-old girl when she was in your shop I consider to be a matter of very considerable seriousness.

“With some hesitation, I am not going to impose a prison sentence today because the law says I can only do so when no other sentence is appropriate.

“The view of the social worker in the final report remains that the risk you present can be managed in the community, so I take account of the alternative options and the fact that otherwise you could be a valuable member of society.”

He sentenced Ullah to 18 months supervision under a community payback order with a conduct requirement to address his “misconceptions”.

He also told him the accused name would remain on the sex offenders’ register for 18 months and ordered him to carry out 270 hours of unpaid work in the community within 12 months.

He warned Ullah: “I make no apology for emphasising to you that any breach of that order in your situation will result in the court bringing you back and imposing a prison sentence.”