Glasgow man sentenced for trying to get university student to take her own life

It was found he had offered other suicidal young women ‘advice and assistance’

A “calculating and dangerous” Glasgow man who encouraged a vulnerable university student to take her own life has been sentenced for a minimum of two years and three months.

Craig McInally, 31, met the 25-year-old university student on a pro-suicide website before encouraging her to come to his flat and “practice” by choking her until she fell unconscious.

Appearing at the Glasgow High Court, McInally was convicted of culpable and reckless conduct, with a sexual element.

Delivering his verdict, Lord Mulholland also imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction. This order, given to high risk violent and sexual offenders, means McInally will be supervised for the rest of his life to reduce his risk to the rest of the public.

Lord Mulholland said: “You encouraged her to come to your home to practice suicide. You derived sexual gratification from this. This is a very serious crime.

“Instead of helping a vulnerable person you sought to school her into taking her own life.”

The university student, who lived in Glasgow at the time, visited McInally at his home in Ibrox in November 2019 after receiving messages from him online.

The court heard how she had initially left but returned to the flat on Sunday 1st December. There, McInally gave her a diazepam pill, allegedly to help her sleep.

When she awoke, he propositioned that he should choke her around her neck to “practice”. Whilst she initially agreed, prosecutor Paul Kearney KC, said: “She began struggling and he stopped.”

After attempting to hug and kiss the distressed student on the forehead, she managed to leave the flat before walking a number of miles late at night and getting a taxi. She then reported the incident to the police.

McInally was arrested in December 2019 by Police Scotland before the police opened a two year investigation into his behaviour.

They found McInally had been a member of the pro-suicide forum site November 2018 and had offered suicide advice to other young women.

At his house, he had numerous pictures and drawings of naked women being strangled. He claimed to “be excited at the thought of his death and others”.

The senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector John Stewart said: “Craig McInally is a calculated and dangerous individual who targeted women at their lowest point and encouraged them to end their lives for his own gratification, even going so far as to try and assist.

“Police Scotland worked closely with a range of other partners in the UK and internationally for more than two years to support the victims of these despicable crimes and bring McInally to justice.

“I would strongly urge anyone who is concerned that a loved one is at risk from someone like McInally to contact their local police force.

“Information about such criminality can also be passed to Police Scotland online, or through the 101 service.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, please speak to someone or contact Samaritans on 116 123 at any time. You can also speak to Victim Support Scotland on 0800 160 1985 who offer free and tailored support.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

New damming Glasgow Uni report lays bare dysfunctional sexual violence reporting system

Glasgow Uni introduces Ask For Angela scheme in gym as 30 per cent say they feel unsafe

• We spoke to the Charity Director of Glasgow University Charity Fashion Show