A ‘DANGEROUS and predatory’ rapist caged for attacking and strangling four teenage girls was unmasked last week after the young sex offender turned 18.

Egan Ritchie, 18, was jailed for seven years after carrying out his the sickening assaults when he was only 15 back in 2019 – with the offender unable to be identified for legal reasons due to his age .

Ritchie, known to have resided in the Dreghorn and Crosshouse areas, was found guilty of nine offences including assault, rape and threatening behaviour and told he will be sent to custody.

The High Court heard he attacked the four girls at locations around the Ayrshire area near his home.

One of the young women was throttled so hard she blacked out and thought she was going to die at his hands, the Scottish Sun reported last week.

The remorseless offender denied his sickening offences but was found guilty at trial late last year

However Ritchie later casually admitted that he’d carried out the abuse – after the four traumatised teens were forced into giving evidence to secure his convictions

Police Scotland described Ritchie as a “dangerous predator” while the judge called his actions “disturbing and grave”.

Lord Arthurson said: “In the case of three of the girls you throttled them using both hands forcefully around their necks.

“One lost consciousness and thought she was going to die. You threatened to kill three of the girls.”

The judge said he had read a victim impact statement provided by one girl and said the effects of the youth’s actions on her continued to have “a serious detrimental impact on her life”.

Defence counsel Tim Niven-Smith said the youth accepted the findings of the jury at his trial and now admitted to the behaviour.

Detective Inspector Martin Prendergast said: “This teenager is a dangerous and predatory individual who has shown no remorse towards the victims, all of whom were children.

“He played on their vulnerabilities and his actions will no doubt have lasting effects on them.

“These were horrific crimes for someone of such a young age to commit and we welcome his conviction.”

Any information on criminality in the Irvine, Kilwinning, Dreghorn, Springside or Crosshouse areas – including confidential complaints of sexual offences – can be reported to officers by contacting Police Scotland on 101.

In an emergency always dial 999.