Prison officials managing killer Robbie McIntosh feared he was “playing the system” to be released, a significant case review has revealed.
The convicted murderer battered Linda McDonald with a dumbbell at Templeton Woods while out on home leave in 2017.
McIntosh had previously been jailed for life with a minimum sentence of 15 years in 2002 for the brutal murder of dog walker Anne Nicoll on the Dundee Law.
According to a Tayside MAPPA Strategic Oversight Group report released today, officials involved in managing McIntosh prior to the assault on Mrs McDonald feared he was manipulating the system to be released from prison.
The report states: “Time and again, and in retrospect, contributors involved in his management questioned whether (McIntosh) had been merely ‘box ticking’ or ‘playing the system’ to allow him to progress to the point where he was considered for community access and release on Life Licence.
“Indeed, (McIntosh) himself had previously told a professional involved in his management that ‘he would only do just enough to ensure his progression continued’ and this suggests a form of manipulation of the system on his part.”
Read full coverage of the report into Robbie McIntosh’s release in Wednesday’s edition of The Courier.
Elaine Torrance, independent chair of the Tayside MAPPA Strategic Oversight Group, said the “victim of this appalling crime” – Mrs McDonald – had been uppermost in her thoughts while preparing the report.
She said: “They have suffered significant physical and emotional harm and we recognise the distress this has caused to their family and to previous families and individuals who have suffered as a consequence of this individual’s actions.
“We deeply regret that this incident happened. I am sorry they had to endure this dreadful experience and for everything that they have gone through.
“In delivering a thorough, independent review of the events and circumstances that led up to this serious offence, the report concludes that this incident was as a consequence of the perpetrator’s actions alone and could not have been predicted.
“Nonetheless, there are a number of findings within the SCR that lead to ten recommendations that I am confident will ensure strengthened policy and practice in public protection.”
IN FULL: The 10 recommendations accepted by the Tayside MAPPA Strategic Oversight Group
- 1 – The Scottish Prison Service should review the information provided to Scottish Ministers when submitting reports that recommend First Grants of Temporary Release to ensure that the report gives a balanced reflection of a prisoner’s period of imprisonment and the assessed risk.
- 2 – The Scottish Prison Service should review what information is available and considered during the Risk Management Team meetings when considering a prisoner’s progression. The full LS/CMI risk assessment, together with any other risk assessments carried out, should be considered in full.
- 3 – At the point where a prisoner is considered for progression to the Open Estate, the chair of the Risk Management Team within the Scottish Prison Service must ensure that the LS/CMI and any Risk of Serious Harm (RoSH) assessment have been fully completed, endorsed by a Senior Prison Based Social Worker and that all documentation is forwarded to the Open Estate for their consideration within seven days before the date of the proposed transfer.
- 4 – The Scottish Government should work with partners to undertake a review of National MAPPA guidance and improve consistency of application across the country. Guidance should specifically lay out how the Home Leave and release decision making processes; Scottish Prison Service Risk Management Team meetings; community based multi-agency meetings; and MAPPA arrangements interfaces with MAPPA risk management arrangements in practice.
- 5 – The Tayside MAPPA Strategic Oversight Group should ensure that concise and accurate pre read material for MAPPA and multi-agency meetings is sent to attendees in advance of all meetings. This should include formal meeting invitations for all attendees. Meeting minutes should be concise, accurate, ensure tasks are detailed and clear in terms of ownership with updates and outcomes captured. Minutes should clearly reflect the rationale for decision making.
- 6 – The Scottish Prison Service should develop how risk is assessed and mitigated within Risk Management Team meetings. Risk requires to be the main consideration and decisions made should serve to mitigate and manage risk rather, than trigger progression.
- 7 – The National MAPPA Strategic Oversight Group should ensure that ViSOR Standard documents are adhered to by all partner agencies.
- 8 – Police Scotland should review and improve lines of
communication between Offender Management Units and Local Policing in cases involving MAPPA, particularly in cases where there are crossovers of ownership and accountability.
- 9 – The Scottish Government and Scottish Prison Service should consider what technological options are available to assist with the management and monitoring of high risk prisoners who are being granted Home Leave – specifically evaluating the viability of GPS tagging solutions.
- 10 – The Scottish Prison Service should review the start to end
process of how information regarding individual prisoners’ unsupervised community access is consistently reported to and received by Police Scotland and Criminal Justice Social Work in a way that facilitates the identification and management of individuals who may pose a risk in the community.