Sikh priest on Glasgow temple sex charge

Glasgow, UK - A Sikh priest has appeared in court charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl at a temple in Glasgow.

Surinder Singh is alleged to have touched the girl and tried to kiss her at the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple in the city's Otago Street on Saturday.

The 52-year-old, who is visiting Scotland from India on a visa, denied the charge at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

He was remanded in custody after a motion for bail from his lawyer was opposed by the Crown.

Mr Singh is accused of touching the girl on the hands, attempting to kiss her on the mouth, kissing her face and placing food in her mouth at the temple.

'Absconding risk'

Prosecutor Clare Arias said: "The accused is in this country on an Indian passport and is a priest in the temple.

"He has now been dismissed following this alleged incident and he has stated to members of the congregation that he intends to leave the country."

Mr Singh's lawyer, James Mulgrew, told the court that his client was willing to hand his passport into a local police station if he was granted bail but Sheriff John Baird refused the motion.

Sheriff Baird said that Mr Singh would be remanded in custody as there was a "substantial risk of him absconding and failing to appear".

The married priest will appear again next month for trial.