November 2019

Coatbridge rapist finally convicted 40 years after assaulting two children

A teenage rapist from Coatbridge carried out a series of “grave” and “disturbing” sexual assaults on two children more than 40 years ago.

Allan McShannon, 58, attacked the youngsters at addresses in the town between 1975 and 1980.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how McShannon was snared after his first victim contacted police in July 2017.

The man – who has since died – was in his mid-40s when he spoke to detectives.

He told how McShannon abused him during the winter of 1976 – when he was just a young boy.

His evidence prompted officers to launch an investigation and they managed to trace a woman in her 50s who was also abused by McShannon.

She managed to pluck up courage to speak to detectives about how McShannon raped and sexually abused her when she was a girl.

McShannon, of Ayrshire, was arrested by police and charged.

He maintained he was innocent of any wrongdoing but on Monday a jury returned guilty verdicts on one charge of rape and two charges of attempted rape, and a further charge of sexual assault.

Judge Lord Pentland remanded the first offender in custody to obtain reports about his character.

Lord Pentland added: “You have been convicted of a total of four charges detailing serious sexual offences.

“The assaults which you have been convicted of are grave and disturbing.

“A custodial sentence in this case is inevitable. In my opinion the public interest in this case demands for you to be remanded in custody.”

During proceedings, the jury heard how McShannon was arrested after his first victim contacted the police two years ago.

The jury were told how the man had passed away since telling detectives about the abuse. His police statement was read to the court.

The court heard how McShannon was several years older than him when he sexually assaulted him in 1976.

The victim told police: “I remember I didn’t want him to do it.”

The man said he didn’t tell anybody about the abuse for years, he had health problems and had only plucked up enough courage to come forward.

Police Scotland then launched an investigation and found a woman who had been abused by McShannon.

The female, who lives in Lanarkshire, told the court that McShannon first targeted her in the mid-1970s.

She said that he repeatedly attempted to rape her. He did then rape the woman sometime between 1979 and 1980.

The court heard how officers approached her at her home in January last year.

She said that it had come as a surprise when detectives told her that a man came forward to say he was abused by McShannon.

The woman added she had previously told a relative at the time of the abuse about what was happening to her, but that the woman didn’t believe her before later changing her mind.

She said: “She apologised to me when she was dying.”

The woman also said that she reacted emotionally when told of how McShannon abused a boy.

She commented: “I screamed. I screamed out ‘the b*****d’s done it to somebody else.”

Defence lawyer John Keenan told the woman that his client denied any wrongdoing.

When he asked the female whether her evidence could be incorrect, she replied: “You’d have to be crazy to stand in this court and talk about this. You’d need to be crazy; I know I’m not. I know what he did to me.”

Following conviction, prosecution lawyer Jim Keegan QC told the court that McShannon had no previous convictions.

Mr Keenan told Lord Pentland that since his client was a first offender, the court was obliged to defer sentence to obtain reports.

He also asked for his client, who was on bail, to remain at liberty ahead of his sentencing hearing.

However, Lord Pentland refused and placed McShannon on the sex offenders’ register.

McShannon will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on December 6.