Belfast Telegraph

Rapist Ryan McGreechan accused of inmate attack

By Paul Higgins

A one-time teenage rapist currently serving eight years behind bars for the horrific sex attack on a pensioner in her own home, yesterday denied attacking a fellow prisoner.

At Newtownards Magistrates' court, defence solicitor Darren Duncan appeared on behalf of 21-year-old Ryan McGreechan and entered a not guilty plea to the single charge he faces.

McGreechan is charged with common assault against a fellow inmate at the Young Offenders Centre on July 26, 2015, but the rapist, once branded as "dangerous," was not in court. Mr Duncan, District Judge Mark Hamill and a lawyer for the prosecution agreed a trial date of April 12.

McGreechan was just a baby-faced 15-year-old when he launched a sex attack so abhorrent, the entire country was shocked and sickened.

At about 9.30pm on March 13, 2011, McGreechan's 76-year-old victim came back indoors from letting her dog out to urinate, only to be confronted by her assailant - who dragged her to the bedroom, pulled his trousers and her pyjama bottoms down and then raped the woman, who was so terrified she couldn't move.

Not satisfied with that assault, McGreechan forced the pensioner to perform oral sex. During his sentencing remarks, Judge Geoffrey Millar said: "It is plain that this act had had a particular impact upon her."

His victim had commented 'what he done to me, a pig wouldn't have done it.'

"Understandably she was frightened to return home, fearing that he would come back," said the judge.

The pensioner never returned to her own home.

She died just eight months after McGreechan's attack.

He fled through a back window and his victim was found a short time later when her usual carers arrived at the house.

Police investigating the callous crime obtained a full DNA sample from intimate swabs, but McGreechan was not identified or arrested until June that year when he stole a forklift truck.

Even though the full force of the forensic evidence was set out to him during police questioning, he denied that he had even been in the house.

Judge Millar sentenced McGreechan to eight years behind bars.

The Downpatrick Crown Court judge said: "This is a shocking case in many ways.

"It is hard to conceive of a greater violation than that endured by the victim. That an elderly lady should have been attacked and made subject to such a degrading, humiliating and sustained assault within the supposed sanctuary of her own home is horrifying enough.

"That these despicable crimes were perpetrated by a 15-year-old boy is frankly beyond comprehension and calls for the most condign punishment and condemnation."

In 2012, the Crown Court ruled that, even though he was a juvenile, McGreechan could be named.

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