Linda McDonald has said she is ecstatic after meeting with the justice secretary to discuss the “mistakes” made that allowed killer Robbie McIntosh out of prison to brutally attack her.
She had lobbied for a meeting with Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf for months and yesterday met with the minister at Holyrood along with her husband Matt.
McIntosh, who had been behind bars for a fatal attack on dog walker Anne Nicoll in 2001, when he attempted to kill Linda as she walked her dog Betsy in Templeton Woods.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with Evening Telegraph newsletter
The grandmother had been calling for an apology for what she believed were the “shambolic mistakes” which led to her horrific ordeal.
Immediately following her meeting with the minister Linda spoke to the Tele to say she was “ecstatic” at how the meeting had gone.
She said: “Within five minutes of being in the room with Mr Yousaf I got the apology I was looking for from him..
“He also admitted that mistakes and flaws had been made all the way through McIntosh’s sentence. He accepted that there had to be accountability for what happened to me.
“He accepted that someone had to accept responsibility for allowing McIntosh to walk out of prison to attack me.”
Linda added: “An apology is what I have been looking for all along – not just for me and my family but for Anne Nicoll’s family as well.”
A significant case review published in November found that McIntosh had manipulated the system in order to ensure his conditions were relaxed and he was allowed to act upon his bloodthirsty urges.
Linda said: “I am happy with how the meeting went and I am also happy that there now seems to be a way forward to ensure that what happened to me never happens to anyone else ever again.
“This has been my main priority since getting out of hospital and during my recovery. This must never happen again and now I have had reassurances that something will be done to make sure that it doesn’t. ”
Linda’s solicitor Aamer Anwar said: “The meeting went well. The justice minister gave an assurance that steps will now be taken to look at how serious criminals are monitored when they are being considered for release into the community in future.”
Mr Yousaf said: “Mrs McDonald has shown considerable bravery and I am sorry to hear of the pain and trauma she has experienced.
“It’s clear that this crime has had a lasting impact and it was important to me to meet with her and her family to hear directly from them. I have offered to meet them again should they find that helpful and I will reflect further on the points raised today.
“The Scottish Government and Scottish Prison Service have accepted the recommendations of the Significant Case Review published in November.
“Public protection is at the heart of Scotland’s approach to the management of people with offending backgrounds in the community.
“A range of action is underway to address the issues highlighted and we are working with all the relevant agencies to ensure that these recommendations are delivered in full.
This includes strengthened risk assessment and risk management guidance and the work under way to explore options for the further use of electronic monitoring and potential to use GPS tagging to support Home Leave.
“While we can never eliminate risk entirely, we and our wider justice partners aim to do everything that can reasonably be done to protect people from individuals with serious offending backgrounds who are subject to robust risk assessment and risk management planning.”