‘Vile’ Aberdeen rape by known sex offender

Police gathered evidence at a birdwatchers' hide near the River Dee after the attack. Picture: Newsline

Police gathered evidence at a birdwatchers' hide near the River Dee after the attack. Picture: Newsline

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A HIGH-risk predatory sex ­offender who repeatedly raped a young woman in a “prolonged, vile and depraved attack” has been given a lifelong restriction order.

Daniel Welsh, 22, pounced on the 25-year-old victim in ­Aberdeen in February and raped her at two separate remote ­locations. The terrifying ordeal, which lasted for nearly two hours, left the woman seriously traumatised and suffering “incalculable” psychological damage.

Welsh was a registered sex ­offender, on bail and subject to a full Sexual Offences Prevention Order (Sopo) when he carried out the attack, a court heard. Judge Lady Rae imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR) on Welsh, meaning once he is deemed safe to be released, he will be subject to continuing risk ­assessments and will likely ­remain under close supervision for the rest of his life.

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Sitting at the High Court in Edinburgh, she ­ordered him to spend a minimum of four and a half years in jail. Welsh – who claimed not to remember committing the crime – pleaded guilty to rape at a hearing in June. Passing sentence yesterday, Lady Rae said he was guilty of “a most serious and monstrous attack” on a woman who was unknown to him. She said: “The ­attack lasted almost two hours during which you forced her to ­accompany you, threatened to shoot her if she did not comply with your instructions and subjected her to a horrific, degrading and ­prolonged sexual attack. You repeatedly raped her at two separate remote locations.

“One cannot even imagine the terror this young woman must have suffered during that period. It is clear from the victim’s impact statement that she has been seriously traumatised by your actions and the long-lasting psychological damage to this young woman is incalculable.”

The Crown had urged the court to impose an OLR, while the defence suggested an ­extended sentence was appropriate in light of his age, but the judge told Welsh he was a high-risk offender who met the required criteria to ­receive an OLR.

His record of previous convictions included offences of a sexual nature dating back to 2007.

After sentencing, police paid tribute to the victim’s courage. Detective Inspector Kevin Walker added: “Welsh is a predatory offender who subjected his victim to a brutal and sustained attack.”

Labour justice spokesman Graeme Pearson said the fact Welsh was on bail and subject to a Sopo at the time of the offence highlighted the “urgent need” for reform of the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (Mappa) body in Scotland – something being investigated by the Care Inspectorate and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland. He said: “I would hope that there will be a greater deal of urgency to carry out the review into Mappa given the danger offenders such as Daniel Welsh represent.”

Annette Bruton, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “Where a sex offender is on licence or being supervised, there is, rightly, intense public interest in what is happening. The public rightly expects to be protected from risk and wants to know that all the agencies are working properly together.

“We are now working with partners to develop a detailed methodology for this review and fieldwork is expected to begin in April.”

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