THE monitoring of more than 80 “high risk” sex offenders living in Edinburgh is being reviewed in the wake of a critical report into the rape and murder of a pensioner.
Police chiefs are scrutinising dozens of cases following the killing of 74-year-old Rosina Sutherland by registered sex offender Kevin Rooney.
Her death sparked an independent probe by a top detective as Rooney was being monitored under a sexual offences prevention order (Sopo) at the time of the murder in Longstone in October 2011.
Criminal justice social workers with the city council have already reviewed 83 cases of sex offenders assessed as posing the greatest threat. The 14-strong audit team found “low levels of reoffending” among them.
Police Scotland have now undertaken their own review of these “very high risk” and “high risk” offenders to see if any lessons can be learned. The move was welcomed today amid calls for sex predators like Rooney to be “monitored to the hilt”.
Shamed Olympic weightlifter Alan Ogilvie – who has convictions for attacks on young boys – is among the high-risk offenders monitored in Edinburgh under a Sopo.
Figures from last March showed two registered sex offenders were assessed as “very high risk” while 92 were “high risk” in the Lothians. Rooney was monitored by police, health, council and prison officials under Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (Mappa) following his 2005 release from prison for sex offences.
Scottish Tory chief whip John Lamont said: “The simple fact is this man should never have been free to commit this horrific crime in the first place. The victim’s loved ones will know this without having to read any subsequent reports.
“If people like this, with the previous convictions he had, are to be set free, they have to be monitored to the hilt.”
The report into the Rooney case by Detective Chief Inspector Phil Gachagan found no “formal recorded” joint discussions were held by officials about Rooney in the 18 months prior to the murder.
But the Edinburgh Offender Management Committee –which includes Police Scotland and the council – hit back at many of the report’s findings.
In response, the committee said the report “does not accurately reflect the level of contact, support and management” for Rooney, or the “sometimes daily discussions” about his case. The committee said Rooney’s behaviour was “chaotic and out of control” and though this had a “negative impact” on their ability to reduce risk, it was “disappointing” the report failed to acknowledge their commitment to doing so.
Rooney, now 28, murdered Mrs Sutherland in her sheltered housing bungalow. Jailed for a minimum of 21 years in June 2012, he had previously carried out sex attacks against boys and had 33 criminal convictions.