Glasgow & West Scotland

Kriss Strachan jailed for raping woman, 91, in Bellshill

Kriss Strachan Image copyright Police Scotland handout
Image caption Kriss Strachan turned himself in to police after admitting to his mother what he had done

A teenager who admitted raping a 91-year-old woman at her North Lanarkshire home has been jailed for 12 years.

Kriss Strachan was 17 when he forced his way into the pensioner's house in Bellshill and assaulted her on 27 July last year.

After his mother told him to hand himself in, Strachan told police: "I cannot believe I done it. I am scum."

At the High Court in Edinburgh, he was told he would be supervised for seven years after his release.

Judge Lord Boyd said Strachan had carried out a "cruel and degrading attack".

'Truly appalling'

"You forced your way into her house, pushed her over, threatened to kill her, punched her repeatedly round the head, compressed her neck, removed her clothing and raped her," the judge said.

Lord Boyd noted the victim suffered "extensive bruising" and told Strachan he had "infected" the woman "with a sexually transmitted disease".

The judge said the attack had a "truly appalling" impact on the victim.

He added: "This lady used to live an independent life in her own community. As a result of what you did to her she can no longer live there.

"Her daughter says that her mother has changed from being a happy independent woman who loved her home to being reliant on others for everything and wishing she was dead.

"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."

A previous hearing at the High Court in Glasgow heard how Strachan had spent the hours before the sex attack drinking with friends at a party.

At about 07:00 on 27 July, the teenage mechanic - who lived nearby, but was not known to the woman - suddenly turned up at the pensioner's door.

The victim, a widow, was in bed, but was awoken by loud knocking.

'Wanted sex'

She answered her door thinking it was a relative - but was met by Strachan who pushed her and demanded that he "wanted sex".

Prosecutor Jane Farquharson told how the woman bravely struggled with her attacker and managed to scratch his face.

The victim started banging walls hoping to get help, but Strachan told her to shut up or he would kill her.

Strachan then grabbed the woman's neck before repeatedly hitting her.

The court heard he eventually raped the 91-year-old before walking out of her home.

The victim managed to stagger to a neighbour's house where she said: "I have been attacked and he had sex with me."

Police were called, but the woman was too traumatised at one point to relive what had happened.

Ms Farquharson told the court: "She said she felt dirty and was becoming more and more withdrawn.

"She whispered to an officer: 'I just want to die'."

Mother's suspicion

The victim also became "extremely anxious" with any men in the room and asked for a female officer to stay beside her.

The court heard she was found to have suffered extensive bruising as a result of the attack.

Later that morning, Strachan's mother learned of the incident at the pensioner's house.

She heard the culprit had worn a green top before discovering a similar item lying over her couch.

The mother confronted her son, who was in bed, and Strachan immediately sobbed: "I am sorry. I want to hand myself in."

She demanded Strachan go with her to a police station, but officers happened to be passing their home and she told the teenager to admit what had happened.

Strachan confessed to them: "It is me you are looking for. I want to kill myself.

"I cannot believe that I done that to the old woman. I am scum."

The court was told Strachan's mother has had no further contact with her son and had thrown out all his belongings from her home.

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