June 2005

Painter is jailed for sex attack on girl, 15

A PAINTER who sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl has been jailed for four years.

As he molested her, Thomas Steele said: ‘Don’t worry about getting pregnant – I’ve had the snip.’

After the attack, the traumatised girl had to change bedrooms and her family have since moved from the town where they lived.

The schoolgirl had earlier been at a classmate’s house where Steele was working.

She mentioned to Steele, 44, the father of three grown-up children, that her own bedroom might need painting Steele went to her home on the pretext of checking what needed to be done. But once in her bedroom, he pounced on her and sexually assaulted her.

The girl’s ordeal ended only when a friend turned up at her Ayrshire home.

At Ayr Shriff Court last week, Steele was convicted of assault with intent to rape.

Sheriff Colin Miller told him: ‘You are a man of considerable build and strength and you forced yourself on a slightly-built, 15-year-old girl.

‘And you also gave her the ordeal of giving evidence.’

During the earlier trial, Steele’s young victim said: ‘I was so scared I couldn’t move. I thought I was going to be raped