Glasgow & West Scotland

Sex attacker targeted female joggers on quiet canal path

A sex attacker who targeted female joggers during a string of terrifying crimes is facing a lengthy jail term.

Calvin Higgins, 19, struck on a quiet canal path near student halls in Maryhill, Glasgow on 10 March last year.

A jury heard Higgins pounced three times in one day and threatened one victim with a knife.

He claimed he wanted to rob the women but was found guilty of attacking two with intent to rape.

Higgins faced a similar allegation against the third victim but the jury deleted that accusation and instead convicted him of assault.

The teenager was remanded in custody pending sentencing next month.

The court heard Higgins confronted the first victim and brandished a blade at her.

He ordered her to go to an even more secluded embankment area nearby.

'Hyperventilating' with fear

The court heard the young woman was "hyperventilating" with fear.

She managed to escape, but Higgins went on to carry out a further sex attack on another runner.

He punched the woman and tried to push her into bushes.

The court heard the woman's blood ended up on his sleeve.

Higgins struggled with her, but she also escaped.

In the third attack he approached a woman from behind and tried to grab her.

Higgins claimed in court he only wanted to rob the victims but he never stole anything from them.

He told the jury: "It was so I could get money for my girlfriend's birthday - it was a week later."

Higgins admitted he had stood on a bridge near the canal and waited for a jogger going past.

His lawyer Brian Fitzpatrick asked why he was armed with a knife.

Higgins replied: "A lot of people my age have a knife.

"It is self protection because I am scared."

He claimed he was "ashamed" of attacking the women, but denied the crimes were of a "sexual nature".

Higgins was also found guilty of having a knife and resisting police.

Lord Mulholland deferred sentencing for reports.

Higgins, of Thornliebank, Glasgow, was also placed on the sex offenders register.

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