Woman who fell asleep on train to Edinburgh wakes to find naked man next to her

Edinburgh Waverley railway station entrance on Princes street in Edinburgh city centre,Scotland,UK,summer 2022
The woman was on a train to Edinburgh Waverley railway station when she woke to find a naked man beside her. (Alamy/stock photo)

British Transport Police (BTP) are appealing for information after a woman on a train woke to find a naked man beside her.

The woman, whose identity has not been revealed, was on a train travelling between Polmont and Edinburgh Waverley in Scotland when she fell asleep at 7.21am on 20 April.

When she woke up a man was sitting next to her naked.

He later put on jogging bottoms and a T-shirt before leaving the train at Edinburgh Waverley.

BTP are treating the incident as “public indecency” and appealing for help to trace the man, who is described as white, of medium/slim build, aged 65-70, 5ft 6 inches tall with short grey hair and a stubbly beard.

Looking down on the train tracks that lead in to Edinburgh's Waverley Station, with the Balmoral Hotel behind it
The woman was travelling between Polmont and Edinburgh Waverley, pictured. (Getty)

He was wearing black joggers, a black T-shirt and black walking boots.

Anyone with information is asked to contact BTP by calling 0800 40 50 40 or by texting 61016 – with reference 2300044058 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

'Men should learn to behave'

The incident comes after a report into women’s experiences on public transport in Scotland found that all respondents reported at least one instance of unwanted attention or “other more serious incidents”.

The research spoke to 35 women from a “diverse range of backgrounds”, aged between 14 and 86, about their experiences on public transport, either as a user or member of staff.

Scotland’s former transport minister Jenny Gilruth, who commissioned the review into the safety of women on the network, said women should be able to safely travel on Scotland’s public transport network and “men should learn to behave themselves”.

Pensive young woman traveling with bus and holding smart phone. Wears casual clothes.
Respondents to a review reported at least one instance of unwanted attention or ‘other more serious incidents’ on public transport in Scotland. (Getty/stock photo)

The report found women were already “shouldering significant responsibility for adapting their behaviours to try to ‘be’ and to ‘feel’ safe when travelling on public transport”.

More “systemic change, supported by more practical interventions is required to enhance safety further and give women and girls a greater sense of freedom to maximise the opportunities afforded by public transport travel”, the report added.

Addressing the issue during a debate in Holyrood last month, Gilruth said the majority of the women involved in the review reported they had to remain vigilant while travelling.

“Women and girls recounted previous experiences of being the target of inappropriate comments that were sexual in nature and unwanted attention from male passengers,” she said.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 7: Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth speaking during Topical Questions in the Scottish Parliament where she faced questions on air and ferry services to Scottish islands, on March 7, 2023 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ken Jack/Getty Images)
Transport minister Jenny Gilruth addressed the issue of women feeling safe on public transport during a session in the Scottish parliament. (Getty)

“The majority of contributors seem to accept that that was typical or not unexpected when travelling by public transport, especially late at night.”

Gilruth added: “Women should be able travel on our public transport networks in safety and men should learn how to behave themselves.”

The minister said women had resorted to keeping their keys in their hands to be used as weapons, worn flat shoes to be able to run away, asked for a male friend or relative to meet them as they come home or avoided public transport altogether due to safety concerns.

The issue is not confined to Scotland either. A YouGov survey in 2020 found that two thirds (64%) of victims of sexual harassment in London said they experienced the behaviour on the Tube.

Over a third (38%) of victims said they had been abused on London buses, and 31% on trains.