June 2022

Lanarkshire rapist facing jail after victim secretly recorded confession on her phone

A Lanarkshire rapist who was snared after his victim secretly used her phone to record him confessing to his crimes has been jailed.

James Armstrong told his victim that he knew having sex without her consent was “wrong”.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how the woman felt “disgusted” during one of the occasions the 30-year-old preyed on her at a house in South Lanarkshire village.

The court heard how the woman recorded Armstrong speaking freely during a telephone call and jurors heard what he said to his victim.

He said: “I know it was wrong. My main priority now is trying to sort everything out with you. If you don’t want sex, you don’t want sex.”

On Tuesday, jurors returned guilty verdicts to two charges of rape.

Armstrong, of Forth near Lanark, denied any wrongdoing throughout with the court hearing how he initially raped the woman in September, 2019.

Jurors heard how the woman was intoxicated and was asleep when Armstrong lay on top of her and restrained her in the moments before the assault.

Speaking about what Armstrong did to her, the woman told prosecutor Leanne Cross: “I just felt discomfort. I could hear grunting noises.

“I told him to get off me. I pushed him with both of my hands on his chest.”

Ms Cross asked her: “How did James react to you doing that? “It didn’t make any difference. He kept going.”

Ms Cross then asked: “Physically, how were you feeling?”

The woman replied: “Sick”.

Ms Cross then asked: “What was going through your mind at the time?”

The witness replied: “Is this really happening?”

The court heard that the woman was then raped by Armstrong for a second time on an occasion in December, 2019.

Jurors also heard how Armstrong said in the recording: “I was wondering if you had gone and told your maw and that she was going to get the polis and that’s not going to look good.”

The court heard that the woman confided in her ordeal to her mother. Her mum said she felt “sick to the stomach” about what she heard.

She added: “She said she was asleep when she woke up to find James having intercourse with her.

“She sounded really distraught. She sounded really nervous. She was upset. She was sore. She was crying.

“She didn’t know what to do.”

Her mum said she told her daughter to compile a dossier to snare Armstrong.

She added: “I said to her that you need to get proof that he did those things to you. She was frightened.

“She wasn’t looking after herself properly. She wasn’t eating right.”

Police eventually learned about Armstrong’s activities and helped use the recording she made of him in building a case.

In her closing speech, Ms Cross urged jurors to convict Armstrong of the rape charges.

She added: “There is sufficient evidence to support both of these charges against the accused James Armstrong.

“On the evidence available, I would say that on both these occasions she was raped by the accused and so I would ask you to convict the accused.”

Armstrong was also placed on the sex offenders’ register.