Streets are 'safer now' that killer Pacteau jailed - alleged sex victim
A young woman who accused Alexander Pacteau (21) of a violent sex attack as she walked home from a 21st birthday party said Scottish streets are safer now he is behind bars for 23 years.
The comment was echoed by the heartbroken parents of Karen Buckley (24) who said the sole comfort they take from their only daughter's murder case is that Pacteau is now in prison.
"It will ensure that women are safe from harm from the truly evil coward who took our beautiful Karen's precious life," Karen's father John said.
Mr Buckley also said he hoped that Pacteau was "haunted" while in prison by the terrible crime he committed.
The young Scottish woman claimed Pacteau, who was then aged 17, attacked her in Glasgow's West End in the early hours of November 27, 2011.
She was 24 - the same age as Karen Buckley when Pacteau bludgeoned her to death last April.
However, a Glasgow High Court jury found the former grammar schoolboy not guilty of the alleged sex attack in 2013 after he had insisted in sworn evidence he was gay.
Pacteau also said he would rather be charged with murder than rape.
He appeared before the trial on crutches having been involved in a serious car accident in 2012.
The woman said she believes that justice was finally served for her when Pacteau received a life sentence with a minimum 23-year term from Justice Lady Rae for the brutal murder of Karen on April 12.
"My heart broke when that [not guilty] verdict came in for me," she said.
The young woman was so appalled - and so fearful of what Pacteau might do - she took the unprecedented step of writing to Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.
In a prophetic and tragic warning, she said she believed Pacteau was a serious threat to women.
"[Please help] stop him from doing this or worse to another woman or girl," she wrote.
"I dread to think what he may be capable of doing to others in the future. I cannot sit back and do nothing."
Now, the young woman said her primary concern is for Karen Buckley's family.
"I just cannot imagine what they are going through," she said. "It must be a nightmare for them. [Whatever I have gone through] is nothing compared to the pain and suffering of that poor family."
But the young woman admitted that she had found it very difficult to recover in the four years since the alleged West End incident in Glasgow.
"I came to accept that I would not get justice for myself. But I believe I did get a form of justice when he was sentenced," she said.
The young woman recalled the shock of seeing Pacteau's name in Scottish papers including 'The Daily Record' in the days after Karen's Buckley's disappearance.
"[It was like] someone had taken all the air from my lungs. I couldn't believe it because it was something I had feared was going to happen."
She was walking home alone from a friend's 21st birthday party in Glasgow city centre when she came across Pacteau, whom she didn't know, and he struck up a conversation with her.
He offered to accompany her as she went looking for a taxi.
The woman alleged in the 2013 trial that Pacteau - who is six foot four inches and weighs over 15 stone - suddenly grabbed her and flung her onto the ground.
He then allegedly subjected her to a serious sexual assault.
Neighbours in the area reported hearing a woman's screams at the time.
Several ran to the area and comforted the distressed woman.
However, Pacteau denied the sexual assault and claimed the woman had attacked him and slapped him.
The jury acquitted Pacteau by a majority verdict after a four-day trial.
The woman claimed that, as the verdict was returned, Pacteau punched the air.
Justice Lady Rae backdated the commencement of his sentence to April 17 when the 21 year old was first taken into custody by Police Scotland.
She formally imposed a 25 year prison term but gave him a two year discount in credit for his guilty plea, his young age and the fact he has no previous convictions for violent crime.
The judge rejected the suggestion in Glasgow High Court that the sentencing could not take account of Pacteau's actions, after Karen's murder, in trying to dispose of her body with caustic soda.
His defence team claimed his actions in disposing of Karen's body could not be considered an aggravating factor in sentencing because the Crown prosecution service had not proceeded with a specific charge that that effect.
Pacteau is currently serving his sentence in Her Majesty's Barlinnie Prison, the largest jail in Scotland and one of the toughest prisons in Europe.
It is located on the outskirts of Glasgow.
The former grammar schoolboy is currently in protective measures given the risk posed to him from other inmates.
Pacteau will only be eligible for parole in 2038.
He will only be released on license if he is assessed to pose no further risk.
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