Door-to-door researcher fought sex attacker

A MARKET researcher fought back after a terrifying assault when a convicted sex attacker invited her into his home for an interview.

The woman called at the flat unaware that Gordon Melrose, who lived there, had served jail terms totalling 18 years for assaults and sex attacks.

Melrose, 59, was yesterday convicted of assaulting the 33-year-old researcher with intent to rape her in Leith on 7 November. He had denied the attack.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh heard that he pushed her on to a sofa, held a knife at her throat, put his hand over her nose and mouth and threatened to kill her.

The woman fought back, cutting her attacker's face, and managed to get the knife and told him to "back off". She told the court: "I had to fight for my life."

At one stage during the ordeal, she said: "I begged him not to do it because I have got two children to live for."

After Melrose was convicted, it was revealed he was jailed in 1986 for eight years for two assaults to the danger of life and an indecent assault. In 1992 he was jailed again for ten years for strangling a woman until she lost consciousness in an attack with intent to ravish.

At the time, the then Solicitor General for Scotland, Thomas Dawson, QC, said Melrose posed "a considerable danger to the public".

Temporary judge Roger Craik, QC, deferred sentence on Melrose following his conviction for the latest offence and said he would consider making a lifelong restriction order involving a jail sentence followed by supervision for the remainder of the offender's life. Melrose was remanded in custody.

His latest victim told the court she worked part-time conducting market research on consumer products such as mobile phones.

She had gone to the multi-storey block to do her work and had done one interview before calling at the home of Melrose, who was a stranger to her.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When he answered the door she introduced herself and asked for his co-operation. She said: "He said 'OK'. It seemed he was showing his willingness to get interviewed."

She said she was shown into the living room and told to sit on the settee while Melrose sat at the other end.

He answered her questions and they completed the interview. She said: "I went to close my laptop and put it back in my bag. It is just so sudden. He was in front of me, pushing me. I can feel something pointing in my neck."

The woman said she was told to "shut up" when she started to scream. "Then he said, 'Undress. Undress or I kill you'.

"I didn't want him to kill me. We struggled. I said I had to live," the woman told the court.

She said she was begging her attacker, pleading that she wanted to live for her children.

The woman said she spotted a cup or mug on a table and got up without realising she had it in her hand. Melrose punched her three times in the stomach and she crawled beneath a table. He began pulling her and tried to kiss her.

"Then I smashed his head for him to stop. He dropped the knife. I was able to grab it from him to defend myself. I told him to back off," she said.

The woman said she got out of the flat. The court heard Melrose needed 15 stitches in two head wounds.