A WINDOW cleaner snared by his elderly victim’s family after he tried to rape her has been jailed for four and a half years.
James McArdle preyed on the 74 year-old woman who tried to fend him off despite being affected by Alzheimer’s Disease.
The 64 year-old then scoffed a sweet before fleeing the scene of the crime in Hamilton, Lanarkshire in January 2022.
The victim’s son later checked footage from a security camera fitted to keep tabs on his mum due to her frail condition.
He was left sickened after watching back the ordeal McArdle had put the OAP through.
Dad-of-three McArdle was soon arrested, but claimed he had “having a laugh” with the woman.
He was today sentenced by judge Lady Stacey at the High Court in Glasgow.
McArdle, also of Hamilton, had pled guilty in April to the sexual assault and attempted rape of the pensioner.
The court previously heard how the victim lived alone, but had regular carers.
McArdle had been her window cleaner for around 20 years.
Prosecutor Lorraine Glancy KC told how the attack was “caught in its entirety” by an internal Ring security camera installed by the OAP’s son.
Around 10am on January 4 2022, McArdle attended at her home to do his fortnightly clean.
The pair initially chatted about the recent festive period – McArdle then asked if the victim’s carers were due that day.
He told her: “You are some woman – here, did you miss me?”
As the woman complained about her slippers being wet from standing outside, McArdle started molesting the pensioner.
She lashed out at him, but he continued to “pull and prod” at her.
McArdle stated: “You are some lass, so you are.”
While the victim then watched television, the pervert moved in again.
Miss Glancy: “She used a combination of swatting McArdle’s hand with her slipper and using her other hand to push away his sexual advances.
“It is very clear she does not want to engage with McArdle.”
Sleazy McArdle was undeterred – he started rubbing her back, touched her inappropriately, cuddled and kissed her.
He said: “That is why I f*****g fancy you.”
As he carried on, the woman again hit him with her slipper.
The prosecutor: “Her tone changed in that she does not want to do what he is asking her to do. He continues to be persuasive.
“She maintains her no engagement as she hits him three times consecutively with her slipper sternly saying: ‘no, no, no’.
“He is unfazed by her rejection.”
The OAP called him “disgusting” adding: “Behave yourself, for God’s sake.”
But, the hearing was told McArdle went on to attempt to rape the woman.
Miss Glancy: “She repeatedly asked him to go away and stop these actions.”
McArdle eventually stopped before deciding to leave – taking a chocolate as he left.
The court heard around 10.45am, the victim’s son logged in to the camera app on his phone to “check on the welfare” of his mum.
Miss Glancy: “At this time, he observed that McArdle had been in the house and he appeared to be making unwanted sexual advances towards his mother.
“He contacted his sister and informed her what was happening. She contacted police.”
The son immediately handed over his phone with the incriminating footage.
McArdle was traced that day and arrested.
He told police: “The old woman mentioned something about her leg.
“I thought we were having a laugh between each other. I do not want to say anything else.”
McArdle was also put on the sex offenders list today for an indefinite period.
Katrina Parkes, National Procurator Fiscal for High Court Sexual Offences, said: “McArdle exploited and abused a frail woman in her own home. He was well aware of her illness and her vulnerabilities. His behaviour towards her deserves our utmost contempt.
“This despicable betrayal of trust was exposed by the vigilance of those who loved the victim and kept a watchful eye on her welfare.
“Their determination to ensure McArdle cannot offend in this way again has helped COPFS to bring him to justice and protect vulnerable members of society.”
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