A SCHOOLGIRL was sexually assaulted in a public toilet cubicle as she tried to escape from her alleged attacker, Greenock Sheriff Court has heard.

Her boyfriend, now 16, told the sheriff court that he rushed in to the Coronation Park ladies loo, after hearing the 14-year-old shout his name.

Bulgarian man Mihail Iliev, who was living in Highholm Street at the time, is accused of threatening behaviour, placing the teenager in a state of fear and alarm and then sexually assaulting her.

Both the victim and her boyfriend took to the stand to give evidence on the first day of the trial, following the incident in May this year.

Her boyfriend, who was 15 at the time, said: "I was in the men's toilets and I was just about to wash my hands when I heard her shout.

"I rushed out and I saw her bag lying on the bench.

"I looked about and went into the ladies.

"I saw him [the accused] facing the cubicle and pushing at the door.

"She was inside the cubicle."

The court heard the youngsters were faced with the man in his mid-30s and another male who was standing at the entrance to the toilets.

The witness added: "She was trying to fix her trousers and get out and he was standing there. She ended up shoving him."

He said it was at this point the accused grabbed the girl's buttock, adding: "I was trying to get through to her and I was trying to speak to him but he told me he didn't speak English."

When asked by prosecutor Frankie Morgan what her reaction was to the assault, he said: "She started shouting at him, calling him names.

"I wanted to hit him, I am not going to lie to you. "

After the incident the 14-year-old girl went to her boyfriend's house and contacted her mum after her boyfriend had taken a photograph of the accused.

The police were then alerted.

On May 22 this year the young couple, who have been together for nine months, had spent the day in the Port town centre before the incident took place.

Later on in the evening they were at the park when they spotted two men, 31-year-old Iliev and an older man in his 50s.

The 16-year-old boy said: "He kept looking over and staring at her.

"I pointed it out at the time.

"We thought it was weird.

"They were playing with stuff in the park but they didn't have any children with them."

The court heard the young couple went for a walk, and then returned to sit on a bench outside the Fore Street public toilets.

At this point the victim went to the toilet and the Crown say this is when the attack took place.

Mr Morgan told the witness: "It may be suggested to you that events did not happen this way.

"You have taken an oath to tell the truth and that it can have serious consequences if you tell lies.

"Are you telling lies?"

The witness replied: "No."

During cross examination defence lawyer Edward Sweeney questioned the boy's version of events.

He put it to the 16-year-old school leaver that he was not in the gents as he claimed and was in fact in the same cubicle as his girlfriend.

The defence lawyer said: "You are free to agree or disagree."

In response the witness said: "I disagree, that is not what happened."

Bulgarian Mihail Iliev is accused of threatening behaviour, placing his victim in a state of fear and alarm and grabbing her clothed buttock on May 22 this year.

The accused was in the dock with an interpreter translating the proceedings.

The trial in front of Sheriff Daniel Kelly has been continued until August 28.