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Serial rapist 'should never have been housed in my street'

A woman was attacked by a neighbour who turned out to have a lengthy record of sex convictions.

By Jenness Mitchell and Kaye Nicolson

A woman who was attacked in her own home by a neighbour who turned out to be a serial rapist is demanding an apology from the authorities who housed him in her street.

Earlier this month, David Reid, 61, was jailed for four years and three months for the attack in Edinburgh in October 2017.

After forcing his way into his victim's home, Reid pulled out a knife and threatened to "slit her throat".

Due to his lengthy record of previous sex convictions - stretching back 40 years - he was also handed an Order for Lifelong Restriction, which means he may never get out, and was placed on the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely.

Serial rapist: David Reid was handed an Order for Lifelong Restriction.
Serial rapist: David Reid was handed an Order for Lifelong Restriction.

Following Reid's conviction, his 64-year-old victim told STV News that he should never have been housed in her quiet street and instead moved to a more urban, anonymous setting.

She stated: "He made no secret of the fact that he was an offender and an alcoholic, but obviously we did not know that he was also a serial sex offender.

"Obviously I appreciate that you can't manage people 24/7, but I feel that the main issue really is that he was housed somewhere where he could observe everybody's comings and goings, knew who lived where, we don't have entry phone systems, he knew whose car was whose and so forth.

"So I think it was really only a matter of time before something serious happened."

'The main issue really is that he was housed somewhere where he could observe everybody's comings and goings, knew who lived where, we don't have entry phone systems, he knew whose car was whose and so forth.'
Rape survivor

When Reid was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow this month, Lord Clark heard how he already had a lengthy list of serious sex convictions stretching back to the late 1970s.

This included Reid being jailed for ten years for rape and attempted rape in 1998.

He was also previously guilty of indecent assault and having sex with a girl as young as 13.

Lord Clark described the Edinburgh attack as a "disturbing and violent rape" and added that Reid had been deemed a "high risk" of committing even more similar crimes.

The judge said Reid would only be freed whenever the parole board decided it was safe to do so.

'I fully understand that if you notified everybody in the area that there was a sex offender there, you'd get vigilantism.'
Rape survivor

His victim is now demanding an explanation for the housing decision, which was made under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) - which assesses and manages the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders.

She said: "I fully understand that if you notified everybody in the area that there was a sex offender there, you'd get vigilantism.

"And that would be counter-productive; it wouldn't help in any possible rehabilitation of the person.

"It turns out though, this guy, I don't think is capable of being rehabilitated - and I think they must have known that since his record stretched back to 1978, so all the more care should have been taken about housing him somewhere where the risk was minimal."

A Significant Case Review was commissioned to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident, however the victim is yet to see any report.

She stated the processes have "got to be tightened up because, I mean, somebody could die".

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "We have huge sympathy with anyone who has suffered the trauma of rape or any form of sexual assault.

"We continue to work with local and national agencies to prevent offending and reoffending, and to ensure victims, as well as the wider community, are supported through the justice system and wider public services.

"We have toughened how registered sex offenders are managed under Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

"This allows information to be shared and risk assessment and management plans agreed between responsible authorities locally.

"These plans are reviewed and kept updated as necessary."

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