‘Evil’ Alexander Pacteau could be retried for attempted rape
His alleged victim in 2013 warned Pacteau would strike again
Alexander Pacteau, the ”truly evil” murderer of Irish student Karen Buckley, could be retried for an attempted rape he was previously cleared of in 2013.
Pacteau, 21, was sentenced to at least 23 years earlier this month at the High Court in Glasgow for the murder of Karen Buckley.
But Pacteau, who was described as a “truly evil coward” by Karen’s family, had already stood trial two years previously at the High Court in Paisley, where he was cleared of attempted rape.
However, the case could return to court, and a senior detective has appealed for any witnesses to come forward.
The incident happened at Baliol Lane, Glasgow. on 27 November 2011. In court, Pacteau claimed he was gay and his victim had, in fact, attacked him.
DCI Allan Burton, who was heavily involved in the Karen Buckley murder, appeared in an Irish TV documentary, where he says Pacteau could face the charge again under Scottish double jeopardy laws, if people come forward.
He said: ”The incident where he stood trial in 2013, he was found not guilty by a jury.
“There’s still an opportunity at some time in the future that he may end up back in court. We spoke to the witnesses involved in that case, and re-explored it ourselves for that purpose.
“But there may be other witnesses out there who have knowledge of that incident or have maybe seen something taking place that night and have yet to contact the police.
“If you are one of those persons then I would love to hear from you.”
The documentary, Disclosure: The Murder of Karen Buckley aired on Irish channel TV3 on Monday evening.
When giving evidence after he was charged with the attempted rape, Pacteau claimed he had depression and was sometimes ”frightened to leave the house.”
He was found not guilty by a majority verdict after a five day trial.
Sandy Brindley, the national coordinator of Rape Crisis Scotland, said it’s very difficult to get a conviction for attempted rape in Scottish courts.
She said: ”Certainly from what I’ve heard, it was really quite a strong case but unfortunately what happened was that the jury acquitted in this case.
“That’s not uncommon. It can be very, very difficult to get a conviction in an attempted rape case in Scotland – most cases don’t make it to court and, of those that do, only around 40 per cent lead to a conviction.”
Pacteau’s alleged victim had already warned the Scottish Justice secretary at the time, Kenny MacAskill, he would strike again. She did so in a letter, written two years before he murdered Karen Buckley.
She said: “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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”