Tayside and Central Scotland

Dunblane rape bid accused 'pushed woman'

A man accused of attacking a 76-year-old woman with intent to rape admitted to police he had gone into a woman's house and hit her, a court has heard.

Ryan Liddell, 20, told a detective that he had pushed and hit a "screaming woman" on the night of the alleged attack in Dunblane, Perthshire.

He said he had entered the home after passing and seeing the door open.

Mr Liddell, from Dunblane, denies assaulting and attempting to rape the woman in her flat on 14 June 2010.

He also denies attempting to defeat the ends of justice by washing his blood-stained clothing after the alleged attack in a bid to destroy evidence.

The High Court in Dumbarton heard that police had visited Mr Liddell's home the next morning, as it was just a few roads away from where the woman lived, and the 20-year-old had said he didn't know anything about any incident.

Mr Liddell was later questioned at Stirling Police station, and jurors heard a tape recording of some of what he said.

He said he was "drunk" the night before and admitted he was a "bit jealous" because his friend Connor O'Byrne had left with a girl whom Mr Liddell had "liked for ages."

The accused said that he was driven home before buying cigarettes and falling asleep at about 0200 BST. He then said he had lied, and had actually driven home himself.

'Screaming woman'

He went on to tell Dc Rory Batemen that he had not told the truth about what he did, and the officer read what he said Mr Liddell had told him, from his police notebook.

He read: "All that stuff I said did happen about buying fags. I went into Stirling to see if any pubs or clubs were open.

"Then I came home and went for a wander. I passed a house. The door was open. I went in and had a look.

"A woman started screaming, coming towards me. I pushed her. I think I hit her as well. I can't really remember. Then I went out the back door."

Jennifer Bain, prosecuting, asked Dc Batemen how Mr Liddell was when he told him this.

He replied: "He became upset at this stage."

Drink drive charge

Jurors also heard that the night before the alleged incident Mr Liddell had gone with friends to an area of woodland to "have a drink and listen to music".

Mr O'Byrne, 20, said he shared two bottles of vodka and four or five beers with Mr Liddell, and another friend Sean MacKenzie.

Mr O'Byrne said he left with a girl a couple of hours later, and he said Mr Liddell was a bit angry, as his friend had "fancied her for about a year-and-a-half".

The court heard that Mr Liddell then drove Mr MacKenzie home in the early hours of the morning, and Mr MacKenzie said he thought Mr Liddell was probably not fit to drive.

Mr Liddell is accused of driving while unfit through drink or drugs on the day of the alleged incident, but also denies that charge.

The trial before Lord Uist continues.

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