Prison bosses generally accepted killer Robbie McIntosh had “manipulated the system” after he carried out a brutal attack on Linda McDonald.
A source close to the Scottish Prison Service has claimed the murderer had “everyone fooled” and wanted to spend the rest of his life in prison.
McIntosh attacked Linda while he was on home leave from prison, where he was serving a life sentence for the murder of Anne Nicoll on the Law.
The prison source said: “McIntosh had everyone fooled.
“He manipulated the system to get exactly what he wanted and that, unbelievably, was to spend the rest of his life in prison.
“He knew what he was doing and it is extremely concerning and worrying that he succeeded in his attempts.
“It is very concerning that he was able to fool everyone for 16 years and the Scottish Prison Service has no idea how he managed that.
“That is something that needs to be looked at very carefully to make sure it can never happen again.”
The chair of the group tasked with assessing the threat level of killer McIntosh has also admitted more could have done to prevent him from posing a threat while on release.
Elaine Torrance, who acts as the independent chair of the Tayside multi-agency public protection arrangements oversight group, was speaking after the release of the significant case review into McIntosh’s attack on Linda.
Ms Torrance explained: “The independent review makes it clear that along the way, in retrospect, there may have been some things that would have been helpful if they were reconsidered later in the process.
“So absolutely we should be looking back at what might have improved the situation.
“There is a sense of regret that this incident (the attack on Linda McDonald) happened in the first place.”
The suggestion that McIntosh had possibly worked the system during his time behind bars was made throughout the report.
When asked her thoughts on the suggestion that McIntosh had worked the system, Ms Torrance said: “In terms of getting an assessment of when somebody is thinking of finding a way through the system rather than changing, it becomes very difficult to get to the bottom of that.
“Looking at the balance of what happened and the process of a risk assessment, the report does say that could have been more robust.”
Another key area of focus for the future was the need to listen to the victims and their families.
Ms Torrance added: “I am sorry that this incident has happened and the distress it has caused Linda and her family. We want to continue working with them and we need to be hearing her strong views on this.
“We have also been involved with the family of the first victim and they have expressed strong views on when home leave was happening. We have to ensure that in the future we are more proactive in that area.
“The Mappa arrangements are quite strong in Tayside but there are always improvements that can be made and we will make sure we can assure the people of Tayside they are safe.”
The Tele approached McIntosh’s mother, Heather, yesterday, who said: “I really don’t want to talk about this.
“I have a lot of feelings about all of this but I want to keep them to myself. I don’t want to talk about them publicly.”
How Robbie was described in the SCR
“Paranoia, narcissism, callousness, shallow effect, and a lack of empathy and remorse.”
These are the words used to describe Robbie McIntosh after he undertook a psychological risk assessment at HMP Perth in March 2012.
That report raised the possibility that McIntosh, at that time, was attempting to present himself in a manner that he believed “would be viewed more favourably”.
It also brought to light discussions about his mental state; whether he suffered from paranoid delusions and whether he had a tendency to disassociate within situations.
Following his transferral to HMP Greenock in December 2014, McIntosh requested to be returned to closed conditions.
The report said this request suggests he was “anxious as a result of his continuing progression through the prison system”.
It said: “Some prisoners struggle to come to terms with the trust and responsibility placed on them within a more relaxed prison environment.”
The independent reviewer found “considerable evidence” that McIntosh was aware of how he could progress through the system.
“Time and again, and in retrospect, contributors involved in his management questions whether Prisoner Z had been merely ‘box ticking’ or ‘playing the system.
“Prisoner Z himself had previously told a professional involved in his management that ‘he would only do just enough to ensure his progression continued’ and this suggestions a form of manipulation on his part.”