Two “bullies” have been jailed for terrorising a “vulnerable” woman at knifepoint in her Motherwell flat.
Cowardly Jordan McGinn got two years at Hamilton Sheriff Court while accomplice Andrew Neill, who was on early release from prison at the time, was sentenced to another 16 months.
A neighbour told the pair’s trial she called the police after hearing screaming and items being smashed in the flat above her in Gallagher Court, Motherwell, on January 26.
Victim Lyndsay Davidson emerged relatively unscathed, but a friend described her as “hysterical, hyper-ventilating and unable to speak properly”.
McGinn, 23, and Neill, 24, denied assaulting Davidson, but the jury returned a majority guilty verdict after a two-day trial.
The court heard she was pushed repeatedly on to a chair, slapped, punched and spat on. A knife was held against her throat. Threats to stab her were made and she was scratched on the arm with the blade.
The men were cleared of robbing Davidson of house keys, money, a bank card and a mobile phone.
All three had been at a party. Words were exchanged and when Davidson left the men followed her to her flat.
A neighbour then heard a disturbance including a man’s voicing shouting repeatedly ‘Just sit there’ followed by a woman’s screams.
Paula Russell, prosecuting, suggested the attack stopped only because the men feared the neighbour would call the police.
Police recovered McGinn’s DNA from the victim. This supported her claim that he had spat on her.
Davidson said McGinn had a knife and was being aggressive towards her. Neill disarmed him, but then turned nasty himself and held the blade at her throat.
When the accused returned to court for sentence it emerged that McGinn, having protested his innocence throughout the trial, now accepts his guilt.
His solicitor, Ian Scott, said: “He is full of remorse and shame.
“He had been hanging about with a bad crowd, consuming certain substances.”
Tracy Paterson, for Neill, also claimed certain “associates” were partly to blame for her client’s repeated offending.
Referring to the attack on Davidson, the lawyer added: “Being drunk, he thought it was a good idea at the time. He tried to stop it, but it was too late.”
Passing sentence, Sheriff Ray Small told McGinn: “This all happened over a minor disagreement.
“You took yourself round to the home of a vulnerable girl in the early hours, barged in and subjected her to threats and an assault which included use of a knife.
“You were the subject of two bail orders at the time.
“I’m afraid no disposal other than custody is appropriate.”
The sheriff told Neill: “Your involvement was far less and you helped disarm McGinn when things got out of hand.
“But it was you who retrieved two knives from the kitchen in the first place. You were more than willing to take part in this.”
A police source welcomed the convictions, saying: “This was a particularly nasty incident in which this pair basically bullied a vulnerable young woman who was alone.
“It was a frightening and degrading experience for her.
“McGinn and Neill have got what they deserved.”