Gay man cleared of trying to rape woman

A man has been cleared of trying to rape a 49-year-old woman after telling the court he was actually gay.

The High Court in Livingston heard that the accused is gay and 'not into women'. Picture: Gordon McBrearty

A jury took less than an hour to return a majority verdict finding William Craig not guilty of the offence.

Craig, who revealed in evidence he had been a homosexual since the age of 13, admitted stopping the woman as she was out waking her dogs in Livingston West Lothian.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He said he was only asking her for directions to the nearest railway station so he could get a train home to Cathcart in Glasgow.

The 38-year-old denied grabbing the woman by the arms and trying to drag her off the footpath while repeatedly shouting at her: “I’ll drag you into the bushes and shag you”.

Describing her as “a drama queen” he told the jury he’d only tapped her on the arm to attract her attention because she was listening to music on earphones.

When she reacted in a frightened manner he claimed he asked her: “What did you think I was going to do, drag you into the bushes and shag you?”

Craig claimed the “snobbish” woman and her female acquaintance had made up the allegations “to get that wee Glaswegian rat the jail”.

He asked the jury: “Why would I want to drag her into the bushes when I’m a poof? I’m gay. I’m not into women. Get me?”

Craig had denied sexually assaulting the woman with intent to rape her on January 31 this year.

The indictment alleged that he seized her by the body, attempting to pull her into the bushes and uttering sexually explicit remarks.

Outside court he wiped away tears as he told of his relief at being found not guilty.

He said: “I’ve been under a huge amount of pressure because of this. My boyfriend and my pals are all affected too and have had to take time off work.

“There’s no way I would want to take a woman into the bushes for sex. I’ve been gay all of my adult life and I’m not going to change now.”