Police faced a “race against time” to stop a “despicable” sex attacker striking again on the city streets, a detective has revealed.
The Evening Express reported earlier this week that Daniel Teglas admitted raping a vulnerable teenager in Aberdeen this summer – and he now faces a lengthy spell behind bars.
In an exclusive interview, the senior investigating officer in the case has spoken of her team’s race against the clock to catch the predator, amid fears he would target another victim within hours of raping the 18-year-old victim, on July 27 this year.
Detective Inspector Jennifer Cordiner said the report came in within minutes of the horrific attack happening at 3.45am in the roof area of the Bon Accord Centre.
She said CCTV cameras captured Teglas, 20, and the victim minutes before he raped her. They also captured part of the attack and filmed him as he walked off.
“Time was a huge factor,” said Det Insp Cordiner.
She added: “This is a case of a predator, who to the best of our knowledge was sober on the night this despicable attack happened.
“He was walking the streets looking for a victim to attack.
“It happened on a Friday going into Saturday and we were very much in a race against time to trace this attacker, knowing there was a chance we were going to have a predator on our hands who could potentially strike again in the city centre the following evening.”
As the victim was taken to hospital in the company of a specially-trained sexual offences liaison officer, officers set about “putting together the jigsaw” of CCTV footage, looking at video from a series of cameras to trace Teglas’s movements after he struck.
Det Insp Cordiner said: “That informed us he had travelled home on foot, and it led us right to his front door. We had a location for him by lunchtime the same day.”
The next task was for officers to get a warrant from the procurator fiscal in order to search his home address.
“It came through quickly. We had him in custody by supper time – and he has been there ever since,” said Det Insp Cordiner.
She added: “We were very fortunate CCTV led us right to him and, when we found him at the property, it was straightforward to identify him from his appearance and clothing as the man in the footage from the scene of this awful crime.”
The High Court in Edinburgh heard on Wednesday that when officers took Teglas to Kittybrewster police station, a forensic medical examiner asked him when he last had sex, to which he replied: “About 4am with that girl.”
Det Insp Cordiner said: “He seemed to know why we were there. He is married and he didn’t seem too fazed about the implications of his actions for the victim, and for his own family.
“On the instructions of his solicitor, he gave a ‘no comment’ interview and his body language wasn’t giving too much away.
“At that point, from the perspective of the victim, you can imagine there is a strong feeling of trepidation because the last thing she would want is for the case to have to go to trial and for her to have to relive that awful experience in court.
“Though he was in custody, what the victim went through made her scared to go out, not knowing what would happen. It had a huge impact on her, particularly early on.
“However, the plus point was that the CCTV footage left no gaps in terms of before, during and after the attack. There was no way Teglas could talk his way out of it.”
Though an experienced officer, Det Insp Cordiner admitted that it was distressing to watch footage of the attack.
She added: “The victim was an 18-year-old on her first ever night out as someone who was old enough to drink alcohol.
“She became separated from her friends and what goes through my mind is just how scared she must have been through this horrific experience.
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“They said in court that Teglas lifted her up like a rag doll – and that is exactly what happened.
“This will have been a massive ordeal on the victim, but she showed courage in reporting the attack. You can see how some victims would feel like not doing so.”
Having spoken to the liaison officer after Wednesday’s court case, Det Insp Cordiner said: “I am told that the victim is pleased with the result of the hearing.
“There is the sentencing hearing to come (in December) but she will now feel she has the opportunity to put this behind her and move on with her life.”
Det Insp Cordiner emphasised that such attacks are extremely rare but, when they do happen, specialist support is provided to victims.
“From the word go, the victim is given a specially-trained liaison officer and that person remains their sole point of contact throughout the entire process. Continuity is key.”
She added: “Everything happens at the pace the victim is comfortable with. It takes as long as it takes.
“They are never rushed or pressured and they are kept in the loop about every development of the case from start to finish.”