Teenager gets 12 years for rape of widow (91)

Kriss Strachan was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
Kriss Strachan was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

A Bellshill teenager who assaulted and raped a 91-year-old woman in her own home has been locked up for 12 years.

Kriss Strachan (18) pounced on the defenceless pensioner after breaking into her house in Bellshill’s Orbiston area in July last year.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard today that he subjected his victim to a horrifying physical assault before sexually abusing her.

Strachan - who has been disowned by his family - pushed the woman over, punched her and placed his hands around her neck before raping her.

He was arrested after confessing his crimes to his own mother. She ordered him to go to the police and he told officers ‘I cannot believe I did it - I am scum.’

The court heard the woman can no longer live independently and has told family and friends that she now wants to die. Strachan infected her with a sexually transmitted illness.

The judge, Lord Boyd of Duncansby, told Strachan that he had committed a ‘cruel and degrading attack’.

Ordering that he be supervised for seven years following his release from custody, Lord Boyd spoke as relatives of the woman wept loudly in court.

He said: “You have pleaded guilty to a cruel and degrading attack on a 91-year-old lady.

“At an early hour of the morning you knocked on her door. You forced your way into her house, pushed her over, threatened to kill her, punched her repeatedly, compressed her neck, removed her clothing and raped her.

“The physical injuries you inflicted were significant. The medical evidence and photographs show extensive bruising over the whole of her face including her eyes, cheekbones, upper lip, gumline, jawline and chin.

“There was also bruising across her chest, shoulders, arms, legs and foot. Injuries were also noted to her private parts and you infected your victim with a sexually transmitted disease.

“I have no doubt that the psychological injuries you inflicted are just as significant and certainly longer lasting.

“Her daughter says that her mother has changed from being a happy, independent woman who loved her home to being reliant on others for everything and wishing she was dead.

“The consequences are truly appalling. I can only hope that one day you might begin to understand the full gravity of what you have done - the pain, suffering and humiliation you inflicted on this lady.”

Strachan admitted the charge last year and sentence on the mechanic had been deferred for the court to obtain reports.

He had spent the hours before the horrific attack drinking with friends at a party.

Around 7am on July 27, the teenager - who lived nearby but was not known to the woman - turned up at the widow’s door.

The victim was in bed but was awoken by loud knocking. She answered her door, thinking it was a relative, but was met by Strachan who stormed in. He pushed the pensioner then said he ‘wanted sex’.

Prosecutor Jane Farquharson said the woman struggled with her attacker and managed to scratch his face. She banged on the walls, hoping to get help, but Strachan told her to shut up or he would kill her.

Later that morning Strachan’s mother learned of an incident at the pensioner’s house. She heard the culprit had worn a green top and found such an item on her own couch. She confronted her son and Strachan immediately sobbed ‘I am sorry. I want to hand myself in.’

Strachan’s QC, Herbert Kerrigan, told the court: “He is in a state of absolute shame. He has no recollection of the incident. His own mother has not visited him in custody.

“She has not done this because of the sympathy she has for the victim. She does not in any way wish to condone what her son has done to this poor woman.”

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