Man, 49, found guilty of ‘brutal’ rape of stranger in Union Terrace Gardens

Police and forensic officers scoured the gardens for clues.
Police and forensic officers scoured the gardens for clues.

A man has been found guilty of raping a woman in Aberdeen city centre.

Alasdair McDonald, 49, was convicted by a jury at the High Court in Glasgow of raping the woman in Union Terrace Gardens in January 2016.

Following the incident a massive police operation was launched to track McDonald.

Inspector Sheila McDerment, who led the inquiry, said: “Stranger attacks are extremely rare in Scotland, let alone the North-east, which made this a challenging and lengthy investigation involving significant resources from Police Scotland’s Specialist Crime Division along with support from local officers within North East Division.

Police officers at Union Terrace Gardens in January 2016 where a woman was raped.

“Thanks to the painstaking efforts of all those involved – from how we worked with the victim to gather as much information as we could, to how we preserved and managed the locus; from how we worked with the local community and our partners, to how we effectively gathered CCTV evidence to help us identify our suspect – we were able to bring this case to court and McDonald will now have to face the consequences of his brutal and terrible actions that night.

“I would like to take this opportunity to mention the work carried out by our partners within the Scottish Police Authority Laboratory using the latest DNA technology which ultimately identified him as our accused.

“Above all I want to thank the victim involved for the courage she has demonstrated throughout, firstly by coming forward to tell police what had happened and then by co-operating with us to reach this conclusion.

“I know that the verdict reached today will never change what happened to her, however I hope it can help her move forward with her life.

Police and forensic officers scoured the gardens for clues.

“Policing sexual crimes remains a key priority for Police Scotland and we are committed to continually improving the service we provide to victims, supporting and helping them to come forward to report what happened.

“Every report is investigated with the same level of thoroughness regardless of when it happened, and we work closely with our partners to ensure victims receive the necessary support.

“We know how difficult it can be to report sexual crimes which is why we have specially trained officers in each of the 13 local divisions of Police Scotland to help and support those who have been victims. Sexual crimes of any type will never be tolerated.”