Scotland’s first minister has promised that she will “consider very carefully” proposals that serious offenders should spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
Nicola Sturgeon has written to Linda McDonald, who almost died after being attacked by a convicted murderer, insisting she will look at potential legislation which would see the country’s most serious criminals locked up for good.
Linda was left fighting for her life after being attacked by Robbie McIntosh in Templeton Woods in August 2017 while he was on day release from prison.
Since recovering from her brutal beating, Linda has been campaigning for a change in the law forbidding convicted murderers from unsupervised home leave.
She said: “I have received a personal letter from the first minister with the promise.”
The letter followed the announcement by Liam Kerr, Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary, that he has launched a bill in Holyrood to give Scottish judges the power to impose whole life sentences to those convicted of the most serious violent and sexual crimes, including murder.
Linda said: “I am very hopeful that Ms Sturgeon and the government will carefully consider passing the bill.
“I’m fighting for this so what happened to me never happens again.”
In her letter Ms Sturgeon said: “I can absolutely understand why you would want to ensure very serious offenders can spend the rest of their lives in custody.
“The Scottish Government will consider the details of what has been proposed by Liam Kerr very carefully.”
She added the government would “consider whether what is proposed will add anything new and additional to the powers the courts already have.”
In her letter the first minister also included a personal, hand- written message to Linda which said: “My thoughts are with you.
“Please don’t hesitate to contact me again at any time.”