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Teen locked up for raping woman, 91

Published 13/05/2015

A teenager has been locked up at the High Court in Edinburgh for raping a 91-year-old woman
A teenager has been locked up at the High Court in Edinburgh for raping a 91-year-old woman

A teenager who raped a 91-year-old woman in her home has been locked up for 12 years.

Kriss Strachan, 18, forced his way into the pensioner's home in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, and carried out the sex attack last July.

He repeatedly punched his elderly victim during the "cruel and degrading" act, leaving her with significant injuries.

Strachan, who was 17 at the time of the attack, was arrested after handing himself into police, stating: "It was me. I cannot believe I done it. I'm scum."

He pleaded guilty in November and today was given an extended sentence of 19 years - meaning he will be supervised by authorities for seven years following his release from detention.

The court heard the victim managed to get to a neighbour's house following the assault and said: "I have been attacked, he had sex with me."

She was described as an "active and independent" woman before the assault but now often talks about wishing she was dead.

Passing sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Boyd said: "The consequences are truly appalling.

"I can only hope that one day you might begin to understand the full gravity of what you have done - the pain, suffering and humiliation you inflicted on this lady."

Relatives of the victim wept in court and shouted "shame on you, Kriss" and "scumbag" as he was led from the dock to begin his sentence.

The court heard the teenager spent the hours before the crime drinking with friends at a party.

He left at about 6.30am and made his way to the woman's home where he pushed her and forced his way into the house.

The woman, who was 90 at the time, tried to fight him off, repeatedly pushing him away and scratching his face while shouting and banging on the wall in an attempt to raise the alarm.

But Strachan told her to stop, threatening to kill her if she did not, and then put his hands round her neck and punched her to the face and body.

The court heard he then raped her before leaving.

Police were called after she made it to her neighbour's house. She was described as "extremely distressed".

Strachan's mother became aware of a break-in at the pensioner's house and heard the person responsible had been wearing a green top.

She confronted her son after finding a similar item lying on her couch and he immediately told her he would hand himself in.

The court heard she has had no further contact with him since that morning.

Herbert Kerrigan QC, defending, said Strachan, from Bellshill, felt "absolute shame".

Passing the extended sentence, Lord Boyd said it was clear Strachan still posed a "significant risk to the public, and in particular elderly women".

"In determining the custodial part of the sentence, I have regard to the age of your victim, the significant degree of violence that you used towards her and the physical and psychological damage that you inflicted," he said.

"I also have regard to the requirement for public safety and the fact that a significant period of time will be required in prison for you to undergo appropriate treatment."

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