Thursday 21 September 2017

Pacteau rape accuser says ‘streets now much safer’

Justice Lady Rae said Alexander Pacteau had shown little remorse for the brutal murder of Karen
Justice Lady Rae said Alexander Pacteau had shown little remorse for the brutal murder of Karen
Karen Buckley
John and Marian Buckley leave Glasgow High Court following the sentencing
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

The young woman who accused Alexander Pacteau (21) of a violent sex attack as she walked home from a 21st birthday party said the streets are safer now he is locked up.

The woman claimed Pacteau, who was then aged 17, attacked her in Glasgow's West End in the early hours of November 27, 2011.

However, a Glasgow High Court jury found the former grammar schoolboy not guilty of the attack in 2013 after he had insisted in sworn evidence he was gay and that he would rather be charged with murder than rape.

Pacteau also appeared before the trial on crutches, having been involved in a serious car accident in 2012.

The woman said she believes that justice was finally served for her, when Pacteau was yesterday sentenced for the brutal murder of Karen Buckley.

"My heart broke when that (not guilty) verdict came in for me," she said.

The young woman was so appalled - and so fearful of what Pacteau might do - that she took the unprecedented step of writing to Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill after the 2013 trial.

In a prophetic and tragic warning, she said she believed Pacteau was a serious threat to women.

"(Please help to) stop him from doing this or worse to another woman or girl," she wrote.

"I dread to think what he may be capable of doing to others in the future. I cannot sit back and do nothing."

Now, the young woman said her primary concern is for Karen Buckley's family.

"I just cannot imagine what they are going through," she said.

"It must be a nightmare for them. (Whatever I have gone through) is nothing compared to the pain and suffering of that poor family."

But the young woman admitted that she had found it very difficult to recover in the four years since the alleged West End incident.

"I came to accept that I would not get justice for myself. But I believe I did get a form of justice when he was sentenced," she said.

"At least the streets will be safe for women now that he is in prison."

The young woman recalled the shock of seeing Pacteau's name in Scottish paper 'The Daily Record' in the days after Karen's Buckley's disappearance.

"(It was like) someone had taken all the air from my lungs. I couldn't believe it because it was something I had feared was going to happen."

She was walking home alone from a friend's 21st birthday party in Glasgow city centre when she came across Pacteau, whom she didn't know, and he struck up a conversation with her.

The woman alleged in the 2013 trial that Pacteau - who is six foot four inches and weighs almost 15 stone - suddenly grabbed her, flung her onto the ground and subjected her to a serious sexual assault.

Neighbours in the area reported hearing a woman's screams at the time.

However, Pacteau denied the sexual assault and claimed the woman had attacked him, slapping him in the face.

The jury acquitted Pacteau by a majority verdict.

Irish Independent

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