Dundee grandmother Linda McDonald has launched her Justice4Linda campaign – five years after being left for dead by convicted murderer Robbie McIntosh.
The campaign – which calls for answers about failings in the system which allowed this to happen to her – comes as McIntosh is eligible to apply for parole.
He attacked the 57-year-old while on a week of home leave from prison where he was serving a life sentence for the 2001 murder of Anne Nicoll on Dundee Law.
The Scottish Parole Board wrote to Linda earlier this year asking her to provide a statement explaining why she believed McIntosh – handed a lifelong restriction order for the second attack – should not be released from prison.
This is her response to the board, given exclusively to The Courier.
At the age of 15 this individual carried out the brutal murder of Anne Nicoll on the Law Hill in Dundee.
A detective constable at the time of Ms Nicoll’s murder and the man tasked with interviewing McIntosh, commented: “From day one I didn’t like McIntosh and had a gut feeling that he had killed Anne Nicoll.
“He was pretty switched on and very forensically aware. He tried to create an alibi and he immediately washed his clothes — but I suspected him straight away.
“I believed he deliberately went out of his way to be forensically aware, and I also believe he had a desire to be infamous.”
‘My life – and that of my family – changed the day I was attacked’
Mr Meldrum said he did not agree with the decision to allow McIntosh any kind of freedom.
One of the first officers on the scene of the killing said he “wasn’t surprised” to learn of the violent offender’s involvement in the Templeton Woods attack.
The person the offender attacked was me.
If it hadn’t been for the timely intervention of passers by I would be dead – the people responsible for the systemic failings that lad to his release would have “blood on their hands” and McIntosh would have gained the infamous reputation he desired.
Whilst acknowledging that people who commit crimes have certain rights, there are individuals like McIntosh who require, indeed need, to be incarcerated for life to keep the public safe.
My life and that of my family changed the day I was attacked.
I’m still suffering from post traumatic stress disorder as I deal with the trauma of the attack.
Over the past five years my feelings of anger towards McIntosh have somewhat dissipated as I see him as victim of circumstance and his own personal trauma.
However my anger and frustration at the organisations responsible for the systemic failings that led to him being released continue to impact on my physical and mental health.
And these feelings are exacerbated by a report that alludes to McIntosh “working the system” for his own benefit.
The report also raises key questions that are currently with the Scottish Prison Service to be answered.
When considering that five years following the attack I am still awaiting answers to why McIntosh was released, yet you are contacting me to advise that he can be considered for parole, is inconceivable and the sense of personal injustice is overwhelming.
For more information on Linda’s campaign, visit justice4linda.org