Attack on jogger ‘not sexually motivated’

Area in Strathclyde Park where the attack took place
Area in Strathclyde Park where the attack took place

A youth has been cleared of a sexually motivated attack on a female jogger in Strathclyde Park.

Luis Shearer (20) grabbed the woman as she ran past and put her in a headlock, restricting her breathing.

However, an allegation that he carried out the assault with intent to rape her was thrown out during his trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

Shearer, from Bellshill, had been held in custody ahead of the trial, but after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of assault on the fourth day of the hearing he was given bail.

Sheriff Douglas Brown called for background reports and deferred sentence until May 10.

The court heard the 27-year-old alleged victim managed to take a photo of Shearer immediatedly after the incident. He was chased and caught by two walkers who held him until police arrived.

Police found six packets of condoms in a holdall he had with him.

The attack happened near the Roman bridge on the Bellshill side of the park in broad daylight on September 27 last year.

PC David Mooney said he arrived to find Shearer kneeling on the ground and being held by a member of the public. He said the youth was “slightly agitated and sweating”.

PC Mooney told the court that as he was being taken to the police station Shearer appeared “awfully concerned” about what was happening to his bag.

This was found to contain six packets of unused condoms and a can of deodorant.

During a filmed police interview shown in court, Shearer claimed he always carried that number of condoms with him.

He replied ‘no comment’ to many of the questions asked by detectives, but eventually admitted that he had grabbed the woman as she ran past him.

He said he had her in a headlock for “about five seconds” then she fell to the ground.

Asked why he chased her as she tried to escape, Shearer replied: “I didn’t want her to tell the police, that’s all.”

The court also heard that he apologised to the woman after the alleged assault, saying: “I’m not right in the head.”

Defence lawyer Gerry McGuire argued successfully there was no evidence to suggest an intention to rape. He pointed out that in her evidence the victim made no mention of a sexual element.

Sheriff Brown agreed and ordered ‘with intent to rape’ be deleted from the charge.