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Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Four years for suicide girl's rapist
Lindsay's father Frank, speaking outside court
Lindsay's father Frank, speaking outside court
A 15-year-old boy has been detained for four years for the rape of a teenager who committed suicide two weeks ago.

The parents of Lindsay Armstrong, 17, said their daughter took a fatal overdose because she was humiliated by the rape ordeal and by having to give evidence.

At the High Court in Glasgow, the boy, who is under 16 and cannot be named, was ordered to be detained and placed under a supervision order for a further three years.

He was found guilty in June of sexually assaulting Miss Armstrong near her home in New Cumnock, Ayrshire, last September.

Lindsay Armstrong
Lindsay Armstrong: Fatal overdose

Passing sentence, the judge, Lord McEwan, offered his sympathy to the girl's family and then told the boy that he was a threat to females.

He said: "The various reports on you that I have received make depressing and bleak reading.

"You are clearly a young man with a great number of problems.

"You have been assessed as a risk to females particularly in sexual matters."

'Disturbing features'

The judge said there were "other disturbing features" in the reports on the boy and he would be automatically placed on the sex offenders' register.

The Armstrong family comforted each other as sentence was passed.

The family said Lindsay took her own life on 16 July because she could not cope with the ordeal or her treatment by the defence when she gave evidence.

She was asked twice to hold up the underwear she had been wearing at the time of the attack.

Prison bars - generic
The judge imposed a supervision order

Her father Frank said: "We still feel very angry about the way Lindsay was treated in court.

"We'd like some help from the powers that be to look into ways to change the situation."

Mr Armstrong, who was in court with his wife Linda and son Damon, told reporters: "This should not be allowed to happen. These girls should be treated with a lot more respect and dignity."

Mrs Armstrong said highlighting Lindsay's case was a "start" in the campaign to change the law.

'Extraordinary situation'

Speaking before sentence, the boy's lawyer, John Carruthers, offered his sympathies to the Armstrong family but said his client was being sentenced for rape and not for murder.

He said Miss Armstrong's death and subsequent media coverage had put his client in an "extraordinary situation" since his conviction on 26 June.

Mr Carruthers alleged that the boy's family had been harassed and they had been forced to leave their home.

A black hearse was sent to the boy's mother's house and the home was then broken into and vandalised, Mr Carruthers added.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Colin Blane
"For Lindsay Armstrong the horror of being raped was compounded by what happened in court"
See also:

19 Jul 02 | Scotland
18 Jul 02 | Wales
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