Scottish authorities have launched a major review into how convicted Longford rapist, Patrick Rae was allowed to flee Ireland and go undetected for almost two years before brutally murdering mother of three Mary McLaren in Scotland last year.
The investigation follows the imprisonment of Mr Rae for a minimum of twenty years for the murder of Ms McLaren in Dundee over a year ago.
Less than a week after Rae was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison, Scottish Police have confirmed an inquiry into the Rae case has been launched after it emerged the Longford native was was wanted in Ireland to face a sexual assault charge at the time of the murder.
In 1997, Rae was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison for the rape of a woman in Longford dating back to July 1996. After being released in 2002, just a year later he was convicted of possession of a knife and threatening behaviour before going on to commit over a dozen offences including theft, drink driving and other road traffic offences. Rae was subsequently charged in April 2008 for an alleged sexual assault on a 30-year-old woman in Portmarnock, Dublin. However, he failed to appear in court to face the charge in November of that year.
One aspect of the Scottish inquiry is believed to centre on the lack of information Scottish police had about Rae, who went on to rape and murder 34-year-old Mary McLaren in Dundee on dates unknown between February 25 and March 10 last year.
“What comes out of it (inquiry) will play out in the following weeks,” said Lothian and Borders Police Assistant Chief Constable, Iain Livingstone. “But the issue is how sex offenders are managed when they move from one jurisdiction to another, and the challenges that presents.
“One of the issues that has been looked at is whether all the information held by police in Ireland passed on to police in Scotland. That is one area that continues to be looked at.”
Documents obtained by the Leader reveal a circuit court warrant was issued for his arrest on November 30 2009, a number of months after Rae is believed to have started a new life in Scotland.
This newspaper has also learned Longford Gardai submitted an application to the Irish Courts Service a month later following an alleged trespassing offence in Edgeworthstown.
Scottish police are believed to have questioned the 41-year-old Co Longford man up to 10 times for varying minor offences, but they had no way of knowing Rae was a wanted man back in Ireland.
During his month-long trial, Mr Rae had denied the charges against him. Upon convicting Rae of the rape and murder of Mrs McLaren, presiding judge Lord Tyre placed Rae on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Telling Rae he faced at least 20 years behind bars, Lord Tyre said: “You preyed on a woman who...by all accounts was already the worse for drink. You viciously raped and strangled her, leaving her body to be found many days later. The horror and terror that Mary McLaren must have experienced during this attack can only be imagined.”
Chief investigating officer speaks out after conviction of
Patrick Rae. Page 6