Glasgow & West Scotland

Violent rapist told Paisley victim 'I love you'

Police at the scene
Image caption The woman was attacked as she walked on a grassed area between Shortroods Road and Mosslands Road in Paisley

A violent sex attacker raped a stranger as she walked home then told her: "I love you".

Polish-born Stanislaw Merdacz, 38, admitted raping the 40-year-old in Paisley, Renfrewshire, last November, and punching her repeatedly.

After the brutal attack, Merdacz - who will be sentenced next month - gave his victim a hug and asked if she was "ok".

The High Court in Glasgow heard that a nearby householder found the woman crying on her doorstep.

Merdacz, who has a wife and daughter in Poland, was caught following a large-scale investigation, and his DNA was also found on the victim.

He initially told police: "I don't know nothing. I don't know what's happened. I have nothing to hide."

Punched in face

The court heard that Merdacz, who worked at a recycling plant, had been out with a colleague on 26 November last year, visiting a number of bars in Paisley but was thrown out of one for trying to dance with a number of women in a "provocative manner".

In the early hours he was seen lurking in a doorway and followed his victim through a number of streets before attacking her in a grassed area in Mosslands Road.

Prosecutor Bernard Ablett said a hooded Merdacz "rugby tackled" the woman before punching her in the face.

She tried to shout for help but Merdacz slapped his hand over her mouth and nose. He then raped her.

Mr Ablett told the court: "She believed that she was going to die and started to cry."

He continued the attack with the mother believing she was punched up to five times.

Merdacz then took the woman's bracelet and watch, before handing them back.

'Breaking her heart'

Mr Ablett said: "He picked up her shoes which had fallen off and assisted her in putting them back on.

"He also pointed to her phone on the grass and told her not to forget it.

"Merdacz then hugged the woman telling her: 'I love you'. He patted her on the shoulder asking: 'ok, ok?'." He then ran off.

The victim ran to a nearby house after spotting the lights were on.

She was found by the resident and told her: "Sorry, I did not know where to go. I've been raped. I'm sorry."

She was described as "breaking her heart crying".

The court was told that Merdacz, from Gallowhill, Paisley, had been due to return to Poland on 22 December - just three weeks after the date of his crime.

He originally arrived in the UK in January last year.

The court heard that the victim now suffered from anxiety and depression and had not worked since the attack.

Judge Lord Burns deferred sentencing until next month for reports.

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