Beggar jailed for raping woman who stopped to help him in city centre

The High Court in Glasgow. Picture: TSP>
The High Court in Glasgow. Picture: TSP>
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A beggar who raped a 57-year-old woman after she stopped to offer help was today handed a life sentence.



James Campbell, 32, admitted raping the woman, on August 16, last year, around 6.30pm in a lane between West Nile Street, and Nelson Mandela Place, Glasgow.

At the High Court in Glasgow judge Lady Stacey imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction – similar to a life sentence – on Campbell.

She told him: “ I take the view you present a danger to the public.

“I saw a video of what happened. It was a very serious and violent rape against an older woman who only weighed about six stones.”

Lady Stacey imposed a punishment part of three years but told Campbell: “In order to protect the public work needs to be done with you.

"There is no definite time at which you will be released. You will be seen by doctors and psychologists. As to when you are released that decision will not be taken by me, it will be taken by others.

Defence counsel Laura Reilly said: “He says he expresses remorse. “

Campbell, who lived with his mother in Paisley, Renfrewshire, was out begging on August 16, last year, in Buchanan Street, Glasgow.

The woman noticed he was not wearing a top – although it was cold and raining.

She asked him if he was alright and chatted to him for about 10 minutes. Campbell then followed her and refused to go away.

As the woman walked past the lane Campbell demanded a kiss before restraining her and raping her.

Campbell, who dressed in Celtic football club clothing and draped himself in an Irish tricolour, regularly begged in Buchanan Street and made up to £100 a day.

Prosecutor Angela Gray said: “He told the woman. 'I love you. I want you to be my girlfriend.' and she replied: 'Don't be daft. I don't even know you.”

The court heard that the woman struggled with Campbell and repeatedly told him: “Please don't” and “There is no need for this.”

Miss Gray added: “She repeatedly told him to stop and that he was hurting her. He did not stop and told her to shut up.

“A solicitor working in an office overlooking the lane saw the incident taking place and phoned the police.”

Officers arrived to find Campbell raping the woman and dragged him off her. He had fresh scratch marks on his outer thighs.

The woman was visibly shaken and upset. She had bruised legs and grazes on her private parts.

Campbell told police: “She wanted rough sex so I gave it to her.”

The brutal rape was captured on CCTV and was described by Miss Gray as 'graphic' and added: “It includes images of the woman and the accused in a state of partial undress.”

Miss Gray added: "The accused spent his days begging in Buchanan Street and it is understood he collected between £40 and £100 per day."

Campbell, who has been in custody since August, last year, has been placed on the sex offenders' register.