March 2007

Youngsters foiled attempted rape

A man spotted by three children as he attempted to rape a schoolgirl has been jailed for 12 years.

Two boys and a girl, all aged 13, saw Mark Lavery, 32, attempting to rape his teenage victim and alerted police.

Lavery admitted the sex attack on the 16-year-old girl in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, on 2 April last year.

Judge Lord Hardie praised the youngsters and said it was clear that had it not been for their intervention Lavery would have raped her.

He described the assault as horrific and ordered Lavery to be monitored for a further eight years after his release.

The girl’s 40-minute ordeal began when Lavery approached her at a bus stop in Burnbank Road, followed her and abducted her.

He grabbed her round the throat and threatened to stab her.

She managed to break free twice during her ordeal but Lavery caught up with her.

‘Psychological effect’

He dragged her into a lane, where he tried to rape her but the three schoolchildren saw the attack and called police.

When officers arrived, the children flagged them down and directed them to the spot where Lavery was still trying to rape the girl.

Lord Hardie said: “The consequences for a young person of what you did are truly horrific.