Glasgow & West Scotland

Teenager took her own life three months after rape ordeal

James Elder Image copyright Iain McLellan/Spindrift Photo Agency
Image caption James Elder denied the rape but was convicted by a jury at the High Court in Glasgow

A man has been convicted of raping a teenager who took her own life months later.

James Elder attacked the 19-year-old at his flat in Glasgow's Parkhead in September 2016.

The victim later spoke to her mother and gave a statement to police, which was read to jurors, naming Elder as her attacker.

But a court heard she killed herself at her home in the city's southside three months later.

The victim's family sobbed and hugged one another as the verdict was announced at the High Court in Glasgow.

Ex-waiter Elder, 43, now faces a lengthy jail-term when he is sentenced next month.

'She was hysterical'

The teenager had ended up at his flat after walking out of the family home following a row.

She was later reported missing but eventually returned with two police officers.

Describing her at that time, her mum said: "It was not the daughter I knew. She was hysterical.

"She was just confused, irritable...just all over the place."

The mother said her daughter went on to blurt out that Elder "raped" her.

The woman told the jury: "She kneeled beside me and started crying.

"She put her head onto my lap. I just grabbed her. I put my arms around her and gave her a cuddle.

"I wish I could do that now."


Jurors had been told at the start of the trial that the girl took her own life in late December 2016.

But, despite initially being too traumatised to give a statement, the teenager spoke to police the day after the rape.

The trial was read her harrowing account by one of the officers who met with her.

She recalled being at Elder's home that night and claimed three further men were also there.

The victim told police the attack happened after one of the other individuals tried to kiss her before Elder struck.

She said: "I was being held down by my arms and he was having sex with me."

The teenager said the attack lasted 10 minutes, but "seemed like forever".

She told police: "I remember feeling disgusting."

The trial heard the girl had initially ended up in hospital shortly after the rape when her mother caught her swallowing tablets.

'Particularly tragic case'

The teenager's mother often became emotional during her own testimony.

She told the court: "I just want to get justice. I am my daughter's voice now.

"You will never understand until you lose a child."

Weeks after the attack, Elder told a visitor to his home that he felt "guilty" about having sex with the teenager.

After the verdict, Judge Lord Matthews told jurors: "This has been a particularly tragic case."

Elder was remanded in custody as sentencing was adjourned for reports.

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