A CONVICTED sex offender offered to buy drinks for strangers in a city pub using “bundles” of cash stolen from a grandmother just hours after he had raped and murdered her.
Kevin Rooney pleaded guilty yesterday to the murder of 74-year-old dementia sufferer Rosina Sutherland at her sheltered housing bungalow in Longstone.
The 26-year-old – who has 36 previous convictions – had been locked up for sexual offences against two young boys and persistently breaking the rules of a sexual offences prevention order. He killed the grandmother after ransacking her home, repeatedly hitting her on the head and body and strangling her.
Rooney, who had been on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen for two days before lodging the guilty plea, admitted carrying out the attack on October 29 last year.
Rooney was spotted in the Longstone Inn on Longstone Road on the night of the murder “flashing” hundreds of pounds in cash and carrying a walking stick belonging to mother-of-five Mrs Sutherland.
Pub licensee Karen Walker, 43, told the court Rooney had “bundles” of cash and offered to buy other patrons drinks while supping cider, lager and shots.
Customer Stephen Brown, 26, said Rooney was carrying the walking stick and had walked with a limp. The delivery driver said: “He was telling me he used to be in the army. He says he got shot in the leg when he was in the army. That’s why he had the limp.”
Before he admitted murdering the pensioner, a jury had heard details of Rooney’s bizarre behaviour in the hours after the attack.
Police witness Pc David Moran, 28, said that Rooney confessed to murdering someone after they detained him for an unrelated matter. Rooney told the officer he would lead him to the body in return for a cigarette.
Mrs Sutherland’s son-in-law Robert Iannelli, 45, discovered her body lying with a towel neatly folded over her face in her “trashed” bedroom.
His wife Teresa, 44, told the court that she had planned to take her mother to buy a new bed later that day, and said the pensioner had withdrawn £1200 for it.
Another of Mrs Sutherland’s daughter’s, Jane Sutherland, 48, broke down in the witness stand as she remembered the last time she saw her mother only hours before the killing. She said: “I gave her a cuddle and told her I loved her.”
Advocate depute Alison Di Rollo told the court Rooney’s list of previous convictions included wilful fireraising, theft and housebreaking, while he was also convicted of a sexual offence in the High Court in 2004.