15-year-old guilty of raping schoolgirls

The High Court in Edinburgh.
The High Court in Edinburgh.

A teenager has been found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl while on bail for sexually assaulting two other schoolgirls.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been previously charged with the alleged rapes of two 13-year-old girls when he attacked the third victim in September 2016.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how the boy was aged 13 when he allegedly raped a girl the same age as him between March 1 and August 1, 2015.

He then raped another girl on December 29, 2015 and appeared in court in connection with the allegations on January 7, 2016.

A sheriff at Airdrie Sheriff Court granted the boy bail. But on September 25, 2016, the youngster raped a 15-year-old girl. The boy, from Cumbernauld, targeted the girls, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, at addresses in his home town.

On Monday a jury acquitted the boy of the first rape charge, but found him guilty on the two remaining charges,

After the verdict was returned the judge, Lord Kinclaven, placed the boy on the Sex offenders Register but deferred sentence for the court to obtain reports.

He said: “You will be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on March 6.”

The verdicts came at the end of a week-long trial at the high court.

During proceedings, the jurors heard how the schoolboy raped his first victim on December 29, 2015.

Jurors heard how the teenager restrained his victiom and straddled here before forcing the young woman into having sex with him.

The police learned about the boy’s activities and he appeared in Airdrie Sheriff Court in January 2016. They had also learned that he had allegedly raped another young woman between March and August 2015. He was granted bail.

However, the court heard that he attacked another schoolgirl in September 2016. Police learned of his activities and he was taken back to court.

During evidence, the court heard how the young man messaged one of his victims. He wrote: “I have raped you and I can’t live with that.”

The court also heard that following one of the incidents the young man threatened to take his own life.

Prosecution lawyer Bill McVicar urged jurors to convict the young man of his crimes.

Talking about the text message, Mr McVicar said: “He did acknowledge that he had raped her.”

He added: “There is sufficient evidence to return verdicts of guilt in this case.”

The jurors agreed and convicted him on two of the three charges.

Following the case, proescution lawyer Keith Stewart QC, who appeared as Mr McVicar was unavailable, moved for sentence against the boy.

Defence advocate Frances Connor told the court she would reserve mitigation until the sentencing hearing. This will take place in Glasgow next month.