Wednesday 20 June 2018

First victim told authorities that Pacteau would attack more women

Young woman warned senior Scottish minister in 2013 that Karen's killer would strike again

Alexander Pacteau
Alexander Pacteau
Karen Buckley

Claire McCormack

A young woman who accused Alexander Pacteau of a terrifying sex attack warned a senior Scottish minister two years ago he would strike again, it has emerged.

The 21-year-old was found not guilty of attempted rape that allegedly occurred four years before he brutally murdered Cork nurse Karen Buckley.

His accuser told her traumatic story to The Herald in Scotland, stressing that she "knew he would strike again".

In a case strikingly similar to the killing of Ms Buckley, Pacteau was accused of attacking the young woman after a night out with friends in Glasgow in 2011.

He was aged 17 at the time.

The woman, who is now 28-years-old, told reporter Rebecca Gray that Mr Pacteau preyed on her trusting nature and struck up a conversation while they both waited for a taxi - allegedly less than a mile from where he lured Ms Buckley into his car in the early hours of Sunday, April 12.

"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," she said.

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"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," she said.

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 out a sex act on him.

A group of nearby people came to her rescue after hearing her screams.

In court on November 27, 2011, Mr Pacteau claimed the victim had slapped him when he asked about her boyfriend and the pair fell over behind a car, with him on top of her.

He also said he was "confused" when he fled that scene and claimed to jurors that he was gay.

"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.

"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," she said. The Scottish woman felt so concerned about Mr Pacteau and the danger he posed to women that she wrote to the then Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill after her trial.

"After the verdict, my world fell apart and I can't describe the agony of not being believed. In desperation, I wrote a letter explaining why I knew he was a danger to others, which I sent to the Justice Secretary," she said.

"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,'" adding that reading the letter made her "feel sick" knowing that her nightmare had come true.

When she saw Pacteau's name in the paper in connection with Karen Buckley, she felt like someone had taken all the air from her lungs.

"When I read it, my legs just gave out," she said.

"I have relived that night over and over, at how naive and trusting I was that this stranger was genuinely trying to help me get a taxi home," she said, adding she felt "lucky" to be alive.

Sunday Independent

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