23-year-old Stepps man jailed after violent sexual assault

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A THUG who attacked a teenage student as she walked home has been caged for eight years.

A court heard how Ryan Lafferty’s 19-year-old victim was so traumatised she had to give up her studies, suffers nightmares and is still receiving treatment for depression.

She was punched repeatedly as she screamed for help after Lafferty pounced in Glasgow’s West End.

When the woman continued to shout, Lafferty (23) dragged her down stairs to be further from the street.

Sentencing him at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lady Scott told Lafferty: “This was the kind of violent assault which pus all women in fear of going out at night and robs them of their freedom of movement.”

The judge noted that the 19-year-old student was a passing stranger. “Your immediate predatory response on seeing this young woman alone was very disturbing.”

Unemployed Lafferty of Cessnock Road, Stepps, halted a planned trial by pleading guilty to raping the student on May 19 last year.

Defence advocate Louise Arroll said Lafferty remembered nothing of the incident, but had pleaded guilty as soon as he learned that DNA evidence linking him to the attack was “compelling.”