Teenager who raped three schoolgirls detained

A teenager who raped three schoolgirls in Falkirk and Grangemouth has been detained for six-and-a-half years.

The High Court in Glasgow was told that 18-year-old Liam Hughes targeted his victims in the towns between 2020 and 2022.

Hughes had previously been convicted after a trial at Stirling of raping the three girls and sexually assaulting a fourth.

He was on bail when he carried out one of the attacks.

Judge Lord Young also ordered Hughes to be supervised for a further three-and-a-half years on his release.

The trial heard that two of the girls he raped were aged 15 and one was 14.

He was said to have attacked the youngest of the trio in Grangemouth before attacking one of the older girls in woods in the town.

'Immature teenager'

Hughes later assaulted one of the girls again while she was asleep after a party in Falkirk.

He denied the charges, claiming the victims had "got together and made up stories" about him.

Lord Young told Hughes: "It is important to acknowledge that what you did as an immature teenager is less blameworthy than if you carried out these actions as an older man.

"For that reason, the period you will spend in detention will be shorter than what an adult male would have served for same offences."

Following the sentencing, Det Insp Forbes Wilson said: "I would like to acknowledge how difficult it is for victims of serious sexual assault to stand up to their attacker and face them in court.

"Hughes is a sexual predator who is now behind bars, and he can no longer force himself on other young girls."