Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dunblane survivor 'facing life'

22 August 2011 Last updated at 11:23 GMT Ryan Liddell. Pic by Central Scotland News Agency Ryan Liddell was badly wounded in the 1996 Dunblane massacre A survivor of the Dunblane massacre has been warned he could face a life sentence for carrying out a sex attack on a 76-year-old woman in her home.

Ryan Liddell, 20, was found guilty of assault with intent to rape following a trial in June.

He was five when he was badly wounded in the 1996 massacre at Dunblane Primary School.

A judge told Liddell that a full risk assessment order would be carried out before he passes sentence.

This assessment can lead to the making of an Order for Lifelong Restriction.

Under such a life sentence - reserved for the most serious sex and violence cases short of murder - a judge fixes a minimum term the offender must serve before he can be released.

'Senseless and brutal'

But any decision to free the offender is taken by the parole board and if released he is kept under supervision.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Uist told Liddell: "In view of the circumstances of the crime of which you were convicted and the terms of the social enquiry and psychiatric reports on you which I have received I consider that the risk criteria may be met in your case."

The judge ordered that Liddell should be held in Polmont young offenders' institution while a report is prepared on the risk he poses to the public at large if at liberty.

During the "senseless and brutal" attack Liddell pretended he was there to carry out duties as a carer for his victim.

Lord Uist earlier told him that he had been convicted of an appalling attack on an elderly, infirm woman in her own home.

Screams heard

The intruder punched the grandmother repeatedly and kicked her on the head while she was on the floor.

He tore off clothing from the pensioner and dragged her to a bedroom saying he wanted to have sex. The victim told police that he "looked like the Devil" during the attack.

Her attacker fled when the woman's neighbours, who were alerted by her screams, ran downstairs to find her lying naked, bruised and battered with two broken teeth.

Liddell, of Springkerse Road, Stirling, had denied the offence, but was earlier convicted by a jury and sentencing was deferred until August.

The 20-year-old was shot in the chest and arm by Thomas Hamilton during the Dunblane massacre.

Hamilton turned the gun on himself after killing 16 children and their teacher on 13 March 1996.

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