Karen Buckley killer Pacteau may face retrial on rape charge

Pacteau could be retried for attempted rape if new evidence comes to light, say police

Alexander Pacteau: Four years before he killed Karen Buckley, he was involved in an encounter with a 24-year-old woman in Glasgow which led to a charge of attempted rape. Photograph: PA

Alexander Pacteau: Four years before he killed Karen Buckley, he was involved in an encounter with a 24-year-old woman in Glasgow which led to a charge of attempted rape. Photograph: PA

 

Scottish police believe it may be possible to retry the killer of Karen Buckley, Alexander Pacteau, for the attempted rape of another woman if new witnesses come forward.

Det Chief Insp Alan Burton , who heads the major investigation unit at Police Scotland, confirmed that the force has appealed to anyone who has information about Pacteau and an incident that led to him being charged with attempted rape in 2011 to contact them.

Four years before he killed Ms Buckley, Pacteau was involved in an encounter with a 24-year-old woman in Glasgow city centre which led to him being charged with attempted rape and, although he was later acquitted by a jury, Scottish law allows him to be retried if new evidence comes to light.

Speaking on a TV3 documentary, Disclosure: The Murder of Karen Buckley to be broadcast tonight at 9pm, Det Insp Burton said that Police Scotland were anxious to speak to anyone who may have information about the attempted rape incident on Baliol Lane in Glasgow city centre on November 27th, 2011.

“He was found not guilty by a jury, but there’s still an opportunity that it might end up back in court. We spoke to witnesses involved in the case but there may be others that did not come forward. If you are one of those people, I would love to hear from you,” he told TV3 reporter, Geraldine Lynagh.

New evidence

High Court

Earlier this month, Pacteau from Bearsden, Glasgow, was sentenced to life imprisonment with the stipulation that he serves a minimum of 23 years for the murder of Ms Buckley, a university student from Co Cork whom he met by chance outside the Sanctuary nightclub in Glasgow just after 1am on April 12th last.

Pacteau, who pleaded guilty to Ms Buckley’s murder, has since lodged a note of appeal against the sentence imposed by judge Lady Rae and her stipulation that that he has to serve a minimum of 23 years before he can apply to a parole board for release.

Haunted every day

Dr Mairead Tagg

“I think one can never be adequately punished for a crime like this because the family are punished for life. For the rest of their remaining days, the sadness, the loss and the grief will be with them forever . . . ,” he said.

Det Supt Jim Kerr of Police Scotland, who led the investigation into Ms Buckley’s murder, told the documentary that they did uncover evidence from Pacteau’s friends and associates that he had made comments about attacking a woman and disposing of a body.

“The most frustrating thing for us as police officers is that no one could have foreseen that he would go out that night and attack a stranger, said Det Supt Kerr.