Murdered OAP’s family slam serial offender probe

Kevin Rooney killed Rosina Sutherland in her sheltered housing bungalow
Kevin Rooney killed Rosina Sutherland in her sheltered housing bungalow
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THE family of a pensioner raped and murdered by a serial offender has hit out at the conclusion of an official review that the attack “could not have been reasonably predicted”.

Rosina Sutherland, 74, was killed by Kevin Rooney, 28, after he barged into her sheltered housing bungalow in Longstone Park in October 2011, high on drink and drugs.

He sexually assaulted her, murdered her by repeatedly hitting her and compressing her throat, and stole £400 which he used to buy drink at a nearby pub.

Rooney, who had 33 previous convictions, was on bail at the time of the attack. He had been assessed as a “very high risk” on October 27, 2011, but on the same day he presented himself to the council as homeless and was placed in Longstone Guest House, next door to Mrs Sutherland’s sheltered housing.

A serious case review, just made public, concluded the attack “could not have been reasonably predicted”.

But Mrs Sutherland’s daughter, Teresa Iannelli, 45, said: “Of course my mother’s death could have been predicted and prevented. He was left unsupervised in a bed and breakfast without the police knowing he was there.

“If he had been monitored properly my mum would still be here. Kevin Rooney was always a timebomb waiting to go off.

“This guy’s record is as long as your arm. It’s truly shocking. But they simply put him in temporary accommodation and forgot all about him.

“The police have told me they had no idea where he was and that makes me sick.

“It’s total negligence that has ripped our family’s lives apart.”

Ms Iannelli said she had also learned that police received reports of a man behaving erratically in the Longstone area but they treated it as a minor incident because they were unaware that Rooney was there.

She said: “We won’t let the council forget it any longer. We want to know exactly who was responsible for keeping this vital information to themselves.”

Rooney was given a life sentence and told he must serve a minimum of 21 years and four months after he admitted killing Mrs Sutherland.

The review by Detective Chief Inspector Phil Gachagan concluded a lack of “stable” accommodation may have increased the risk that Rooney would re-offend. The report said he had been living at 21 different addresses in the 12 months before the killing.

The review made 13 recommendations for changing the management of sex offenders released from prison.

A statement issued through Police Scotland by the Edinburgh Lothian and Borders Oversight Group said: “These recommendations were accepted in full and new practices and processes have been implemented to address them.”