Glasgow & West Scotland

David Bell guilty of 'despicable' rape bid in Irvine

A 22-year-old man has been convicted of the "despicable" attempted rape of a woman in Irvine, North Ayrshire.

David Bell pounced on the 21-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in December as she made her way home from a train station late at night.

He claimed any sexual contact was consensual but a jury at the High Court in Glasgow found him guilty.

Judge Lord Turnbull deferred sentence on Bell, who is being held in prison, until next month for reports.

During the trial, the jury was shown CCTV footage of the victim and a friend walking past the Rivergate shopping centre in Irvine before going their separate ways just before midnight.

As the victim walked home alone, Bell emerged from the shadows and began walking behind her in the same direction.

In evidence, the woman told how she was grabbed from behind.

He then dragged her into a secluded area and pinned her to the ground before undressing her and repeatedly trying to rape her.

Bell eventually gave up attempting to rape the woman, saying it was too cold. He told her to get dressed and go home and said she had been "lucky".

Following his conviction, Lord Turnbull told Bell: "You have been convicted of a most serious offence indeed. The jury saw right through the disgraceful pack of lies you told.

"You preyed upon a young woman and attacked her in the dark. This was conduct of a most despicable sort.

"This young woman thought she was going to be killed. Any man who conducts himself the way you did forfeits his right to live in the community."

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