THE Bulgarian man accused of committing a sex act in front of a woman on a train claims he was merely scratching himself because he was 'itchy'.

Mihail Iliev told police that he has been plagued with a medical condition since choosing to have paraffin injected into his private parts in his youth.

Iliev, 32, acknowledged during a video recorded interview with detectives that he hadn't been to see a doctor about the matter for eight years.

A trial at Greenock Sheriff Court also heard how Iliev said that he found the woman on the train 'attractive' and he looked at her underwear beneath her skirt.

The dad-of-two stated via an interpreter: "I'll be honest with you, her skirt was so short when she was sitting there it started to lift up almost to her waist.

"It was impossible not to notice."

Iliev said that he was repeatedly rubbing himself within the air conditioned train carriage because his 'embarrassing' affliction flares up in hot weather.

He stated: "I'm really sorry things like this happen.

"I've had the problem before, not only on the train, but other public places."

He added: "I'm really sorry for what's happening, and sorry she thought I'm doing something that is not normal.

"Sometimes I cannot stop."

Iliev — who moved from Bulgaria to Port Glasgow in April for work — is accused of committing the act during a train journey on May 22.

The court heard previously that the woman — a doctor — felt 'perved on' by Iliev and has been left traumatised.

He is said to have repeatedly intimidated her before switching seats 'to get a clearer view' of her.

Iliev told the police: "People who don't know think all sorts of things but I have a condition and an explanation.

"You have to feel it for yourself to know."

In the interview footage he places his head in his hands when one detective tells him: "For this victim this was alarming behaviour."

Iliev told the officers: "The doctor told me it will be itchy from time to time — he warned me about this."

Asked if he had anything to say after being cautioned and charged, he said: "I would like to consult with my solicitor."

After speaking with solicitor Edward Sweeney, Iliev stated: "I didn't do anything intentional."

The trial, before Sheriff Andrew McIntyre, is due to resume on September 23.