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Review into how rapist travelled abroad

A CASE review has been launched into how an Irish serial sex offender travelled abroad and killed a mother-of-three in Scotland.

Patrick Rae, originally from Longford, was sentenced to life imprisonment last week after being found guilty of raping and murdering Mary McLaren, whom he met on a night out in Dundee last year. He will serve a minimum of 20 years.

The 41-year-old has 13 previous convictions, including two for rape. In 1997, he was jailed for seven years by Irish courts for raping a woman here, before he was released in 2002.

Two warrants had been issued here for his arrest before he killed Ms McLaren -- but he still managed to travel abroad and begin a new life in Scotland.

Rae initially stayed in a Travellers' site in Aberdeenshire before moving into a flat in Arbroath, in Angus, with his Scottish girlfriend at the time.

He had changed the spelling of his second name from Rea to Rae when he came to Scotland, which was months after he had been charged with sexually assaulting a woman in Dublin in April 2008.

Rae was sent forward for trial in Dublin in May of that year but failed to appear in court in November 2008.

A bench warrant was issued for his arrest in Ireland, but a European-wide arrest warrant was not applied for. Rae had moved to Scotland without telling gardai of his change of address, which he was required to do under the rules of the sex offenders register.

Yesterday, the Scottish government confirmed it had ordered a review of the case.

A senior police source told the 'Scottish Daily Record' they "had no idea how dangerous he was" because there was no European arrest warrant issued.

Irish Independent