Rapist who ran away gets six years

Gary Pugh was convicted of rape at the High Court in Edinburgh
Gary Pugh was convicted of rape at the High Court in Edinburgh

A rapist who went missing after his victim confronted him has been jailed for six years.

Gary Pugh preyed on the young girl in the late 1990s in Motherwell.

In 2015 she challenged Pugh about what he had done, pleading ‘Why me?’.

Soon after, the sex attacker sparked a large scale hunt when he went missing for 12 days.

Pugh, of Milton Street, Motherwell, had left a note for his partner that stated: “I have done wrong. Now I must pay.”

The warehouse worker was eventually found and brought to trial – but denied the accusations. However, he was convicted at the High Court in Edinburgh of rape and lewd and libidinous conduct.

Lord Arthurson today told Pugh (35) he was guilty of “extremely serious sexual offending”. The judge added: “The damage caused (to the victim) has been significant and long lasting.”

Pugh, will be on the sex offenders list indefinitely.

The girl was aged between 11 and 13 at the time of the crimes. The attacks occurred from 1997 to 1999.

A jury heard how the victim turned up at Pugh’s home two years ago with another woman.

He was asked if he had raped the victim and he said he had – but claimed he had been a “stupid wee 15 year-old” at the time.

The victim was said to have screamed at Pugh: “Why me?”

Pugh denied the abuse the during his trial. He claimed that when he was first confronted about the allegations he thought it was a joke.

He recalled then leaving his house, adding: “I didn’t know in my head where I was going.”

Derick Nelson, defending, told the court Pugh’s partner continues to support him.