Teen tripped up girl then raped her in 'harrowing' Christmas Eve attack 

Thomas Stewart was 16 when he attacked his first victim on December 24, 2014.

Teen who tripped up and raped victim in ‘harrowing’ Christmas Eve attack in Airdrie jailed SNS Group

A teenage sex attacker who tripped up a girl on a path and subjected her to a rape ordeal has been jailed for six and a half years.

Thomas Stewart was 16 when he carried out the Christmas Eve assault in 2014 on his victim, who fell to the ground, before she was raped at a village near Airdrie, in North Lanarkshire.

Stewart, now aged 25, went on to carry out further sex attacks on the girl during a spate of abuse that began when she was 15.

The sex attacker later went on to target a second victim who he raped at a house in another village near Airdrie in 2018.

A judge at the High Court in Edinburgh told Stewart: “I note that you continue to deny you committed these offences.”

Lord Clark said that as a result Stewart had shown no remorse or insight into the impact of the offending, which can have “harrowing consequences”.

The judge said: “You plainly had some degree of immaturity at the time of the crimes, particularly the first offences.”

He noted that Stewart has no previous convictions and was diagnosed with autism as a child.

Lord Clark told the first offender that if the crimes had been committed by an adult then he would have imposed a lengthier sentence.

Stewart, formerly of The Furlongs, Hamilton, had earlier denied a series of charges during a trial at the High Court in Kilmarnock.

He was convicted of four offences of raping his first victim in 2014 and 2015 and a further crime of sexually assaulting her with intent to rape her in May 2015 when he pushed her onto a bed and tried to remove her lower clothing.

He was found guilty of raping the second victim in May 2018 at an address near Airdrie when he also performed sex acts on the woman.

Defence counsel Paul Nelson KC said Stewart was a young person at the time of the offending and was “an immature individual”.

Stewart, who followed the sentencing proceedings via a TV link to jail, was told he will be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

The judge made non-harassment orders prohibiting Stewart from contacting the complainers for an indefinite period.

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