Glasgow & West Scotland

William Barr jailed for sex assault on neighbour

A man has been jailed for six years for sexually assaulting a neighbour after rowing with his partner.

William Barr, 40, of Renfrew, was convicted of assault with intent to rape following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

He forced his way into the 24-year-old woman's flat on 7 September 2010 after arguing with his girlfriend.

He was on licence at the time having been released early from a four-and-a-half-year sentence for serious assault.

Judge Norman Ritchie QC called the incident an "exceedingly nasty attack".

A jury heard Barr had stormed home in a rage after arguing with his girlfriend over whose turn it was to clean the rabbit hutch.

'Very scared'

He pressed his victim's buzzer at about midnight claiming he had lost his keys to his tenement block.

She let him in before Barr - who she had only spoken to once previously - knocked on her door and asked for tobacco.

The woman said he then pushed his way in and managed to grab her as she tried to call the police.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, she said: "I was screaming quite a lot for him to get out. I was very scared.

"It was my intention to dial 999. I got to the telephone, pressed two nines before he came up behind me and pulled the phone away."

Following the attack, the woman feared she would be raped and managed to escape.

She said: "I think he was trying to catch me as I ran to my neighbour's door. I was screaming and banging on it and he [Barr] then ran out on to the street."

Judge Ritchie told Barr: "This was an exceedingly nasty attack late at night on a young woman in her new home."

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