By Ashlie McAnally

AN evil sex beast is facing a lengthy spell behind bars after he raped a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Barrhead town centre.

Samuel Ciornei, 20, threatened his terrified victim with broken glass before forcing her into bushes and subjecting her to a “disgusting and degrading attack.”

The High Court in Glasgow heard that Ciornei followed the girl to a car park behind the Iceland store in Main Street, Barrhead.

She thought he was offering to help with a flat tyre on her bicycle but, instead, he grabbed hold of her and put her through an ordeal lasting seven minutes.

The quick-thinking schoolgirl gestured that she had money in her backpack and, when Ciornei let her out of the shrubs to get it, she was able to break free and run home.

After a trial, the Romanian national was today unanimously found guilty of the rape, which took place on August 7 last year.

Judge Kenneth Maciver told Ciornei: “This was a disgusting and degrading attack on an innocent young girl who was simply out to enjoy a cycle on a quiet summer evening.

“She was entitled to feel safe but she was not safe. She was unfortunate enough to encounter you and she was subjected to a violent attack which will live with her forever.

“Words cannot express the revulsion which society feels about such attacks of sexual violence.”

The schoolgirl told the court she had cycled to the Asda store in Barrhead town centre to buy sweets and chained her bike outside, where she saw Ciornei sitting nearby.

When she returned to her bike, she noticed it had a flat tyre and walked it to the car park behind Iceland to inspect it.

She told prosecutor Iain McSporran QC that the man she had seen outside Asda had walked across the road and appeared behind her.

The girl said the man was wearing a "really distinctive hat.”

Mr McSporran asked her: "Did he engage in any conversation?"

She replied: "No, just gestures."

The teenager added that she didn't think he spoke English and described him as being "a bit nervous."

It was stated that he put the girl's bike on the ground, took the dust-cap from the tyre and put it in his pocket.

The girl, now aged 15, said: "When he put the dust-cap in his pocket, he pulled out a medium-sized piece of glass.

"It was brown and quite jagged. He then put the glass up to my throat, he grabbed my hair and then he gestured for me to go to the bushes."

Jurors heard he pointed to an opening in the bushes and the girl crawled in.

Asked why she went in, she told the court: "Because I was scared."

She described being raped and "moaning or whimpering" in a bid to let Ciornei understand she didn't want anything to happen.

The girl said Ciornei sexually assaulted her and "gestured for money," using his hands.

She added that she motioned back that she had money in her bag and it would be easier if they were out of the bushes.

Jurors heard that, when Ciornei forced her bag off her back, she broke free and ran.

The teenager described being in "quite a state," unable to breathe and "hyperventilating."

The police were called and an investigation was launched.

When officers viewed CCTV footage, they saw Ciornei “directing or pushing” the girl into the bushes and then following her in.

Seven minutes later, they emerged and she was seen breaking free from him and fleeing.

In evidence, labourer Ciornei claimed he had followed the girl as he intended to steal her bike.

He told the court: “I grabbed her jacket at the collar and pulled her towards me and she was struggling.

“I kissed her mouth.”

Ciornei said that, when he took hold of the girl, she “struggled very hard to get away.”

He also claimed the girl went into the bushes and he tried to follow her but couldn't fit properly.

Mr McSporran told the court the teenager's victim impact statement revealed that she is anxious and fearful and wonders how the incident will affect future relationships.

He added: “Her appearance as a witness suggests she may be a remarkable young woman and I hope she will continue to do as well as she seems to be doing.”

Ciornei was placed on the Sex Offenders' Register and sentence was deferred until next month.

Defence advocate Geoffrey Forbes will give his plea in mitigation then.