Glasgow & West Scotland

Beggar raped woman who stopped to express concern for him

James Campbell Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption The court heard James Campbell earned between £40 and £100 a day begging on Buchanan Street in Glasgow

A beggar has admitted raping a woman in Glasgow city centre after she stopped to express concern for his welfare.

The 57-year-old victim spotted James Campbell, 31, topless on Buchanan Street last August, despite the fact it was cold and raining.

The woman spoke to him for about 10 minutes but he then followed her and refused to go away.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Campbell demanded a kiss before restraining and raping her in a lane.

The sex offender, who lived with his mother in Paisley, Renfrewshire, earned between £40 to £100 a day begging.

He dressed in Celtic football club clothing and was often seen on Buchanan Street draped in an Irish tricolour.

'I love you'

The attack happened at about 18:30 on 16 August last year in a lane between West Nile Street, and Nelson Mandela Place.

Prosecutor Angela Gray said: "He told the woman. 'I love you. I want you to be my girlfriend.' and she replied: 'Don't be daft. I don't even know you."

The court heard that the woman struggled with Campbell and repeatedly told him: "Please don't" and "There is no need for this."

Miss Gray added: "She repeatedly told him to stop and that he was hurting her.

"He did not stop and told her to shut up.

"A solicitor working in an office overlooking the lane saw the incident taking place and phoned the police."

Officers arrived to find Campbell raping the woman and dragged him off her.

'Extensive previous convictions'

He had fresh scratch marks on his outer thighs and the woman was visibly shaken and upset.

The sex attack was captured on CCTV and was described by Miss Gray as "graphic".

Judge Lady Stacey placed Campbell, who has been in custody since August, last year, on the sex offenders register.

She told him: "In light of the seriousness of the crime and your fairly extensive previous convictions I will see if an extended sentence is required."

Sentenced was deferred on Campbell until March to obtain background reports.

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