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13 May 2015, 15:21
A 90-year-old woman who was raped in her own home has been "completely destroyed'' by the crime, her daughter said today as her teenage attacker was locked up for 12 years.
Kriss Strachan, 18, forced his way into the pensioner's property in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, where he repeatedly punched her before carrying out the sex attack last July.
A judge told Strachan the consequences of his actions were "truly appalling'' as he passed sentence today for the "cruel and degrading'' attack.
The teenage mechanic, from Bellshill, was arrested after handing himself into police, stating: "It was me. I cannot believe I done it. I'm scum.''
He pleaded guilty in November and today was given an extended sentence of 19 years - meaning he will be supervised by authorities for seven years following his release from custody.
Strachan, who was 17 at the time, left a party where he had been drinking alcohol at about 6.30am on the day of the attack. He made his way to the elderly woman's home and forced his way inside the property.
The victim, a widow, tried to fight him off by repeatedly pushing him away and scratching his face while shouting and banging on the wall in an attempt to raise the alarm.
But Strachan told her to stop, threatening to kill her if she did not, and then put his hands round her neck and punched her.
He then carried out the sex attack and left.
The woman managed to get to a neighbour's house and said: "I have been attacked, he had sex with me.''
Strachan's mother soon became aware of a break-in at the pensioner's house and heard the culprit had been wearing a green top.
She confronted her son after finding a similar item lying on her couch and he immediately told her he would hand himself in.
She has had no further contact with him since that morning.
Speaking after today's sentencing, the victim's daughter described how her mother had been active and independent before the attack but has had to move away from her home of 40 years and now stays with family in a different area, spending most days on her own while they are working.
In a statement released through police, she said: "This crime has completely destroyed my mum, who up until that day lived on her own, did her own housework, shopping, socialising and enjoyed her own independence.
"Now she is totally dependent on me and talks every day about how she wishes she was dead.''
She added: "Thinking about what happened and the devastating impact this has had on her has been very distressing for our entire family and we do our best to love and support her, but life will never be the same for any of us.
"Whatever the sentence, it won't change what happened but at least we can try and move forward with our lives knowing that Kriss Strachan is behind bars and can't hurt anyone else.
"I would like to take this opportunity to say that mum and our family do not in any way blame Kriss's mother for what happened and we are aware of the horrendous impact this has had on her life too.''
Passing sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Boyd said: "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.''
Following today's court hearing, Detective Inspector John Lamb said: "What Kriss Strachan did was completely and utterly despicable.
"His actions robbed an elderly woman of her independence and she is now a shadow of her former self who is unable to return to her home.
"The victim regularly speaks of how she wishes she was dead - that is the sentence Kriss Strachan has placed upon her.
"Kriss Strachan is behind bars because he is a very dangerous individual who has caused an indescribable amount of damage to many people.''
Procurator fiscal Jennifer Harrower added: "Kriss Strachan has pled guilty to a cowardly, brutal and callous crime.
"He forced his way into the home of an elderly woman and subjected her to a terrifying violent sexual assault.
"Thanks to the efforts of police and prosecutors he has now been brought to justice for his appalling actions.''