Glasgow & West Scotland

Craig Gallagher admits rape bid in Airdrie's Central Park

A teenager has admitted attempting to rape a 20-year-old woman during a brutal attack in North Lanarkshire.

Craig Gallagher, from Airdrie, followed his victim from a nightclub and attacked her in the town's Central Park at about 02:00 on 15 January last year.

The 19-year-old later handed himself in and told police he had made a mistake due to being "full of drink".

Sentence on Gallagher was deferred at the High Court in Glasgow and he was placed on the sex offenders register.

Lord Tyre allowed bail but placed Gallagher on a curfew.

Advocate depute Kath Harper, prosecuting, told the court the young woman had just come off her mobile phone when she was attacked.

Scream and struggle

She said: "She does not have a clear recollection of what happened after she hung up, but the next thing she remembers is lying on her back on the ground with a male straddling her.

"She noticed that her clothes and hair were wet and she had no shoes on. She began to shout and scream and to struggle with the accused."

The court was told that Gallagher began pulling at her clothing. He then stood up and ordered the woman, who was lying on the ground crying, to remove her trousers.

She ran off, but was grabbed by Gallagher, who dragged her back on to the ground and struck her on the face.

The woman, a trainee accountant, managed to scratch Gallagher who then grabbed her face, pushed it into the ground and repeatedly struck her head on the ground.

Again he stood up and told her to remove her trousers and she ran off and managed to get to a well lit part of the park before Gallagher grabbed her.

He threw her to the ground and she lay there exhausted.

Ms Harper said: "She felt unable to continue to resist the accused. She continued to scream, but did not think she could be heard and had effectively resigned herself to the fact that he was going to be able to do what he wanted to her.

"Fortunately for her a woman living nearby heard the screams and phoned the police."

The court heard that Gallagher ran off when he saw the blue flashing lights of a police car approaching.

He handed himself into Coatbridge police station.

Made mistake

Initially he told police he had a scratch on his face and mud-stained clothing because he had been play-fighting with a friend.

Later Gallagher said he had made a mistake due to being "full of drink".

He admitted that he had followed the woman into the park and accepted that he had attacked her.

Gallagher added that the woman had screamed, but this did not make him stop.

Police asked him if he was trying to have sex with the woman and he replied: "I don't know."

Gallagher added that he would like to say sorry to the woman.

Judge Lord Tyre told Gallagher: "You have pleaded guilty to the crime of assault with intent to rape.

"This is a very serious offence. This incident was a very terrifying incident for the victim."

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