Duncan Lewis

Scotland to use technology to keep track of sexual offenders who are released from the prison

Date: (4 May 2012)    |    

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A list of failure on the part of authorities that allowed Ryan Yates to attack a woman pensioner and rape her granddaughters less than a week after he was released from prison has prompted the Justice Minister of Scotland to consider monitoring sex offenders through a satellite tracking system after a report suggested that the technology could have prevented the dangerous paedophile from reoffending.
The Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill said he was “actively considering” the move.
The pensioner was not named for legal reasons, has backed the change and said her “nightmare ordeal” would never have happened if the serial sex offender was being tracked by the authorities.
The review of Yates’s case found he was freed from prison even after it being “clear” that he was likely to reoffend and that too there being no management plan in place to reduce the risk the public had from him.
Yates was not made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), which could have required him to stay away from areas like schools and playgrounds, until two days before the attack in Aberdeen.
Had this been in place earlier, the review found that the paedophile may have been returned to prison before the attack as he admitted approaching children near a park, buying a knife set and “hunting for a victim”.
He even pleaded with social workers to allow him to buy a knife on the day of his release and they failed to report him spending much of his time at a supermarket staring at children.
But, despite the authorities missing a series of warning signs, the report concluded that Yates was “solely” responsible for his crimes and the criminal justice agencies performed to the expected standard.
The report recommended that Mr MacAskill introduce satellite tracking of sex offenders, a change the minister confirmed he was considering, but he rejected another proposal which would have imposed lifetime monitoring restrictions after the offender was sentenced.
The review, conducted by the Highlands Multi Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPA) examined how Grampian Police, Aberdeen City Council and NHS Grampian managed Yates’ release and makes 18 recommendations.
The 31-year-old was released from Aberdeen’s Craiginches prison in October 2009, where he was serving a seven-year sentence for a sexually-aggravated assault. He had been in custody almost constantly since the age of 14 for sexual offences.
He was jailed for a minimum of 10 years for the knife attack on the 60-year-old pensioner but Judge Lord Pentland told him he will probably never be released.