March 2019

East Kilbride thugs jailed for sick underpass sex attack on 13-year-old girl

Two men have been jailed after a 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted and robbed in an East Kilbride underpass.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard last week how the girl had her private parts fondled and was forced to perform a sex act in the harrowing attack.

Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen also heard how her 16-year-old cousin was left fearing for his life after the pair were targeted in the “dreadful ordeal” that only ended when a brave passer-by intervened.

Appearing at court on Friday, Ross Jones admitted sexually assaulting the girl near Rothesay Street on October 19, while his accomplice, Scott Laughlin, admitted assault and threatening to stab the terrified youngsters.

Court heard how the teenagers had been followed as they walked towards the town centre to meet a family friend around 11pm.

Laughlin grabbed the boy by the throat and demanded both hand over their phones. The boy was shoved to the ground then punched and kicked as he lay helpless.

Jones grabbed the frightened girl by the hand, took her up a set of stairs and indecently assaulted her before making her participate in a sex act with him.

His semen was later found on the sleeve of her jacket.

Fiscal depute Michelle Brannagan told the court: “Laughlin continued to assault the boy, telling him ‘what’s going on over there is none of my business’.

“He continued to demand the cousins hand over their phones, telling Jones ‘get the lockback out; I’m going to stab these two’.

“Both complainers were terrified they were going to be stabbed and handed their phones to the accused. Cash and headphones were also taken.”

The court heard that at one point the girl snatched her phone back, but Jones grabbed her by the throat, choked her and threatened to kill her cousin if she didn’t hand the phone back to him.

A man walking home from work witnessed the attacks.

Jones warned him to stay out of it, saying “it’s business,” but the man acted as a shield between the thugs and their victims, allowing the boy to run off.

Bizarrely, Laughlin then apologised to the girl for the attack on her cousin and Jones handed back her phone.

The boy ran home but begged his mum “don’t call the police or they’ll come back and kill me”. He was taken to hospital for treatment to a swollen and bruised face.

Police later recovered his phone near to the scene of the attacks and CCTV showed the accused in the vicinity.

Ms Brannagan told the court how both the have accused have previous convictions for crimes of violence and disorder.

Twenty-year-old Jones was locked up for 44 months, while 24-year-old Laughlin was jailed for 20 months.

Jones was also put on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period.

Jailing the pair, Sheriff MacFadyen praised the passer-by who had tried to “minimise the dreadful experience the cousins were subjected to”.

He added: “Your conduct was quite appalling. Your attempt to hide behind a partial loss of memory due to intoxication does you no credit.”