Detectives who investigated the rape of a 14-year-old girl in Barrhead have welcomed the guilty verdict.

A dedicated team of officers worked on the rape case, determined to bring culprit Samuel Ciornei to justice.

Detective Chief Inspector Gillian Patrick told the Barrhead News: “Samuel Ciornei is a dangerous individual and we welcome the result from court.

“This was an incredibly traumatic experience for the young girl concerned, who had simply been out in the local area before being attacked by Ciornei, who was a stranger to her and whose motivation was not only sexual but opportunistic as he also robbed her of her personal belongings.”

DCI Patrick also paid tribute to the young victim, whose compelling evidence in court helped to seal Ciornei’s fate.

She said: “I would like to commend the bravery of the young girl, who stood and gave evidence to the jury of her ordeal, despite it being a very difficult experience to revisit.”

Police have also moved to reassure Barrhead residents that their streets are safe.

DCI Patrick added: “This was an incident which shocked the local community of Barrhead. However, I would like to reassure people that this type of crime is relatively rare.”

And officers have appealed to anyone who has been the victim of a sex attack to report the crime to police.

DCI Patrick said: “I would like to take this opportunity to assure anyone who may have been a victim of any sexual crime that Police Scotland will take any reports of such crime extremely seriously.

“We can provide you with the support you require.”

Judge Kenneth Maciver, who presided over the rape trial, also slammed Ciornei and voiced his concern that, after such a short time in the country, the pervert was “drunk, aggressive and following a young girl, for whatever purpose.”

He 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.”