Crown snubs family of gran killed by sex offender

THE family of a grandmother who was brutally murdered in her home by a repeat sex offender has said it has reached the end of the road in its bid to find out the truth.

Kevin Rooney. Picture: Police Scotland
Kevin Rooney. Picture: Police Scotland

Rosina Sutherland, 74, was raped and murdered at her home in Longstone Park in October 2011 by Kevin Rooney, who was out on bail for a string of other offences.

Family members have fought for answers since her tragic death to find out why Rooney, 28, was not being closely monitored but they said they had been met with a wall of silence.

Mrs Sutherland’s relatives were furious they only saw a heavily-edited 16-page version of an 84-page official report last year on how Rooney was monitored.

But the Crown Office has now refused their request for a fatal accident inquiry (FAI), which they desperately hoped would fill in the blanks left by the report.

A Crown Office spokesman said the facts of the case had been carefully considered but it would not be “appropriate” to hold an FAI.

The Scottish Government also recently rejected a freedom of information request to reveal the legal guidance it was given before refusing plans to make sex offenders share their records when they were applying to be housed.

Mrs Sutherland’s daughter, Teresa Iannelli, said: “I think we have reached the end of our fight. It seems there is nothing more we can do.”

Rooney, who had 36 previous convictions including child sex offences, had been assessed as a “very high risk” on October 27, 2011, but on the same day he told the council he was homeless and was placed in Longstone Guest House, next door to Mrs Sutherland’s sheltered housing.

Drunk and high on drugs, Rooney barged into her home where he sexually assaulted the dementia sufferer and murdered her by repeatedly hitting her and compressing her throat.

Afterwards he stole around £400 which he used to buy drink at a nearby pub.

The official review into the case – which was released in June 2014 – revealed Rooney had lived at 21 different addresses in the year before the killing despite the fact authorities were supposed to strictly monitor his whereabouts as he was subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

The review’s conclusion was that the attack against Mrs Sutherland “could not have been reasonably predicted” despite Rooney’s lengthy record.

Her family criticised the report at the time, describing Rooney as “a time bomb” waiting to go off.

Ms Iannelli said: “If he had been monitored properly my mum would still be here.

“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.”

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

The serial offender was given a life sentence by the High Court in Aberdeen in June 2012 after admitting to killing Mrs Sutherland.

He was ordered to serve a minimum of 21 years and four months in prison for the crime.