'My sex attack hell at the hands of Alexander Pacteau'
"I believe I'm only still here because he was younger and people came to help me"
Published 15/08/2015 | 12:49
A WOMAN who previously accused killer Alexander Pacteau of sexually assaulting her had warned that he would strike again, she revealed today.
The woman involved in a previous case spoke of her torment knowing that he was likely to strike again, and her fear that he might kill another woman.
The Scottish Herald today reports that the woman had warned a Scottish minister that Pacteau would ultimately go on to kill.
Earlier this week, after Pacteau pleaded guilty to Karen Buckley’s murder, it emerged he was acquitted of sexual assault on a Scottish woman just two years ago.
A Glasgow High Court jury acquitted him on the sexual assault charge by a majority verdict in February 2013.
The alleged incident bears remarkable similarities to the attack on Karen Buckley.
The complainant said it occurred late at night as she was walking home alone.
She claimed Pacteau grabbed her, placed his hand on her mouth and sexually assaulted her.
Pacteau denied the claims, and the jury at the time believed him.
Now the woman has come forward to tell how the Buckley case has left her traumatised.
She told the Scottish Herald: "I knew he would strike again."
The 28-year-old met Pacteau by chance after a night out with friends in Glasgow - not unlike his meeting with Karen (21), originally from Cork but studying in the city - and they started talking at a taxi rank.
"From the moment I knew he was found not guilty in my case, I knew in my heart I would see his name again one day because he had hurt someone else," she said.
"When he was found not guilty my heart broke and I just didn't know how to recover.
"I had a horrible feeling I wouldn't be the last person that he hurt. And every day since that day this thought has tortured me."
The woman felt so strongly that Pacteau posed a significant threat to women that she wrote after her trial to the then Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill with a warning.
"After the verdict, my world fell apart and I can’t describe the agony of not being believed," she said.
"In desperation, I wrote a letter explaining why I knew he was a danger to others, which I sent to the Justice Secretary.
"In my last paragraph this is what I wrote: 'Please help me stop him from doing this or worse to another woman or girl. I dread to think what he may be capable of doing to others in the future. I cannot sit back and do nothing'.
"Reading this letter now makes me feel sick as my nightmare has come true."
The convicted money forger this week admitted beating Cork student Ms Buckley to death with a spanner - and then trying to dispose of her body using caustic soda.
A major search was launched for 24-year-old Miss Buckley when she was reported missing from the flat she shared with friends after failing to return home from a nightclub in Glasgow's west end in April this year.
Her body was found four days later in a barrel at a farm on the outskirts of the city.
The woman who alleges she was attacked four years earlier said Pacteau assaulted her in a lane after she agreed to walk with him to try and get a taxi.
"I've never witnessed anything like it," she told the Scottish Herald.
"He just suddenly changed. I said I needed to go to a cash machine for money and he just grabbed my arm and pulled me down.
"In a split second that kind stranger turned into a terrifying monster and the fear and terror I felt that night will forever haunt me."
He was accused of forcing her to the ground, putting his hand over her mouth, carrying out a sex act and attempting to make her carry a sex act out on him.
Her ordeal only ended when people - including two men on a nearby balcony - heard her screams and rushed to her aid.
She also told how she felt "lucky" she got away with her life after learning what Pacteau did to Karen.
"I never thought I'd say that", she added.
"These past few months have been very hard. I feel selfish even uttering such words because it is nothing compared to the pain and suffering of Karen Buckley's family," she added.
"My heart breaks for them. I want to tell them how truly sorry I am and I hope she gets the justice she deserves."