Glasgow & West Scotland

David Bell jailed for 'despicable' rape bid in Irvine

A man who tried to rape a woman in Irvine in North Ayrshire has been jailed for seven years.

David Bell, 22, grabbed his 21-year-old victim as she walked home from a train station late at night in December last year.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that she thought he was going to kill her, and when she asked "Why me?" he told her: "Wrong place, wrong time."

Judge Lord Turnbull said Bell's conduct had been "of a most despicable sort".

During the trial, the jury was shown CCTV footage of the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, 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.

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

She eventually managed to get away from Bell.

Bell had denied attempting to rape the woman and claimed that any sexual contact was consensual, and that she had approached him.

Judge Lord Turnbull told Bell: "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."

The victim told the court how her life had been affected by the attack, saying: "I can't go out at night time. When I do I can't be outside on my own.

"My mum has to pick me up from work. I don't really travel on my own."

Lord Turnbull also placed Bell on the sex offenders register.

He added: "I would be failing in my public duty if I did not impose a lengthy sentence. I take into account the circumstances of this offence and the effect on the young woman involved."

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