Kidnapped girl subjected to 32-hour sex ordeal

The High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

The High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

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A SEX predator snatched a schoolgirl off a street and subjected her to a horrific catalogue of rape and abuse during a 32-hour ordeal.

Mark Armstrong, 26, kidnapped his 15-year-old victim as she returned home from netball practice in Dunfermline in Fife on 12 March and warned her he had a flick knife and he would use it if she tried to flee or scream for help.

The accused only spoke to tell her to shut up

Advocate depute Jane Farquharson

Armstrong throttled the girl and subjected her to a prolonged sex attack in the grounds of a derelict cottage after stripping her.

He asked the teenager if she had had intercourse before raping her as she lay in thorns.

She kept telling him to stop during the rape “that hurt so bad” but he did not.

Armstrong led the girl back to his home and continued to subject her to sexual abuse and rape. The victim later said it happened “over and over again”.

Advocate depute Jane Farquharson told the High Court in Edinburgh: “The accused only spoke to tell her what to do, to shut up or stop shivering.”

During the ordeal, Armstrong donned surgical gloves and scrubbed the girl with a kitchen sponge.

He also tried to get her to smoke cannabis.

At one stage, he took her back to the scene of the original rape after saying she could go home but, instead of letting her go, forced her back to his house to renew the sexual assaults.

The victim’s mother had reported her missing after searching for her daughter.

Police who were searching the derelict cottage found the girl’s T-shirt, bra and broken glasses and informed her mother.

Miss Farquharson said: “At this stage, of course, the complainer’s whereabouts were still unknown.”

Only hours later did unemployed Armstrong finally free his captive and return her phone. The girl later told police: “I just wanted to call my mum.”

The victim was able to describe a wheel at the entrance to Lochore Meadows country park in Fife, to her mother, to tell her where she was and the two were reunited.

Miss Farquharson said her mother described seeing “a little figure standing next to the wheel”. She added: “It didn’t look like her daughter, she said because the figure was so small.”

Police who arrived at the scene described seeing the mother hugging the girl who was “shaking, crying and occasionally howling”.

The victim had facial injuries that left her unrecognisable to officers from the photos of her they had been given in the missing person inquiry.

Armstrong admitted abducting, assaulting and raping the girl between 12 and 14 March.

He also pled guilty to a string of assault and robbery offences committed against women in the Fife town in the days leading up to the attack.

Miss Farquharson said the Crown would be seeking that an application be made for the imposition of an order for lifelong restriction on Armstrong.

Lady Wise said that as a first step she would call for a background report on Armstrong.

She placed him on the sex offenders’ register and remanded him in custody.

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