The police chief who led the hunt for Mary McLaren’s murderer in Scotland has revealed details of the investigation into the case which led to the conviction of Patrick Rae, a native of Longford.
In an interview with STV news, Detective Chief Inspector Shaun McKillop described Rae as a danger to women, saying at no point did he admit any involvement in the mother of three’s disappearance.
“At no point was he (Rae) obstructive, but at no point did he give any indication that he had anything to do with her disappearance. Right from the word go he always maintained that she had left him safe and well and he didn’t know where she’d gone,” he said.
“In one of the interviews he intimated to us that he’d had sex with her in Fat Sams (nightclub). We carried out considerable work looking at CCTV and photographs that we had available to us from that night just to establish if that was the case and we were clear as we could be that no, that opportunity did not arise during the time that they were in the club together,” explained DCI McKillop.
“His position was that he had taken unwell and she had left him and he didn’t know what had befallen her, but some of the information that he gave didn’t quite match up with what we had already identified through CCTV review and speaking to witnesses,” said DCI McKillop.
Rae, who was staying at a Travellers’ site at the time of the killing, had been wanted back in Ireland for a number of offences, the most serious of which involved an attack on a woman in Dublin in 2008.
After identifying Rae as the man seen dancing with Mrs McLaren at Fat Sam’s, DCI McKillop said Rae turned up at the popular student haunt still dressed in his builder’s work clothes.
“He was dressed in working attire, was a bit older than the normal crowd for that type of night and he’d been wandering around trying to get some of the students to dance with him. None of the students were interested and they’d all commented on the way he was dressed and just his manner.
“He would basically just walk up to women, not even engage in a conversation, just say “dance” to them,” added DCI McKillop.
Rae eventually met Mrs McLaren, who was out socialising with her sister, Michelle Rodger (27).
Ms Rodger was then involved in a breach of the peace incident with officers outside the club, leading to her arrest.
As Ms Rodger was led away, Rae moved in on Mrs McLaren, before later raping and murdering the mother of three. Her body was found two weeks later hidden in undergrowth at Dundee’s Ladywell Roundabout.
As for whether Rae could be viewed as a danger to society and women in paricular, DCI McKillop replied: “From the evidence that we have it was a prolonged, horrific attack. Mary sustained some quite horrific injuries as a result...(so) quite clearly yes, as a result of this and from the information that we gathered, yes he is.”