Ryan Douglas jailed for trying to rape teenager in Irvine
A man who admitted assaulting and attempting to rape a teenager in a wooded area in Irvine has been jailed for six years.
Ryan Douglas, 25, dragged his 17-year-old victim from the North Ayrshire town's Bank Street on 7 August 2014.
He ran off after her screams alerted passers-by who came to her aid, and was later traced to a house in the town.
At the High Court in Edinburgh, Douglas was told he would be placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.
Temporary judge Paul Arthurson QC told Douglas: "But for the highly commendable and courageous actions from members of the public, I have no doubt you would have continued with that attack."
The judge said that Douglas did not know his victim but had subjected her to "a terrifying and harrowing attack".
An earlier hearing was told how Douglas, who has previous convictions for violence, possession of offensive weapons and anti-social behaviour, had been drinking following a funeral before going on to a party.
He left and later staggered towards his victim, who recalled him smelling strongly of alcohol.
As she walked on she heard him say: "Just you be careful". Douglas then grabbed her neck and dragged her into bushes.
The teenager fought back and a woman who was out with her young son heard her screaming and shouting: "Help me, help me, somebody please help me".
When Christine Herman went to investigate, she saw Douglas pushing the victim against a tree with his arm around her neck.
The teenager said: "Please help me, I don't know this man." But Douglas claimed: "She's only joking. It's just a joke."
'Crying and distressed'
Advocate depute Rosemary Guinnane told the court: "The victim looked terrified. She was crying and distressed. Her clothing was dishevelled and covered in mud as if she had been involved in a struggle."
Others also responded to her distress and one began dialling 999 for the police, prompting Douglas to let go of his victim and flee.
One of the women, Yvonne Lynch, enlisted a passing cyclist, Peter Collier, to pursue the sex attacker, shouting: "Chase him, he's just tried to rape a young girl."
Mr Collier was helped by another cyclist, Gavin McGrath, in the hunt for the attacker and spotted Douglas at an underpass.
Mr Collier grabbed him and shouted that he had captured him to Mr McGrath, but Douglas managed to break free and escaped.
Douglas was detained by police the following day at a house in Irvine where officers found him hiding under a pile of clothing in a wardrobe.
He admitted assaulting and attempting to rape the teenager.