NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Man guilty of 'abhorrent' brutal rape in Aberdeen

Police at scene

A man has been convicted of the brutal rape of a 21-year-old woman in Aberdeen city centre.

Alasdair McDonald, 49, attacked his victim in Union Terrace Gardens at about 03:00 on 28 January 2016.

He forced her to the ground, repeatedly struck her on the head, restricted her breathing by seizing her nose and then dragged her into bushes and raped her.

A police surgeon said she had suffered "the worst internal injuries" he had ever seen.

McDonald admitted sexually assaulting the woman, but denied that he had raped her.

The jury at the High Court in Glasgow did not believe him and convicted him of rape.

'Excessive force'

Judge Lord Arthurson told McDonald: "You have been convicted of an abhorrent sexual offence against a young woman who was a complete stranger to you."

The court heard that during the rape McDonald ripped the crotch area off his victim's underwear.

This was found some yards away and contained McDonald's DNA.

A forensic expert told the jury that it would have needed excessive force to rip the fabric.

The court heard that after the rape McDonald was initially spoken to as a potential witness and told officers: "I saw a black man walking away." He denied that he was anywhere near Union Terrace Gardens.

An extensive trawl of CCTV in the city centre revealed that McDonald was in the area at the time the rape was committed.

DNA analysis confirmed that McDonald was the rapist.

Lord Arthurson ordered McDonald, who is a prisoner in Barlinnie, Glasgow, to be placed on the sex offenders register.

'Painstaking efforts'

He deferred sentence until next month at the High Court in Edinburgh.

McDonald showed no emotion as he was led away to the cells after the guilty verdict.

Insp Sheila McDerment, who led the inquiry, said: "Thanks to the painstaking efforts of all those involved - we were able to bring this case to court and McDonald will now have to face the consequences of his brutal and terrible actions that night.

"I want to thank the victim involved for the courage she has demonstrated throughout, firstly by coming forward to tell police what had happened and then by co-operating with us to reach this conclusion.

"I know that the verdict reached today will never change what happened to her, however I hope it can help her move forward with her life."

During the search for the rapist a £5,000 reward for information was offered by Crimestoppers.

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