A man who tried to murder a 60-year-old woman in an Aberdeen park during an attempt to abduct and rape her two young granddaughters has been jailed.
Ryan Yates admitted stabbing the woman as the girls, aged eight and two, fled. Yates, 30, carried out the attack last October, days after he was released for an assault with a sexual element. He was jailed for a minimum of 10 years at the High Court in Glasgow. The judge said Yates may never be released. The victim said he was a menace to society.
Judge Lord Pentland imposed a life-long restriction order on Yates. He said it was unlikely that Yates would ever be released as he presented an exceptionally high level of danger to women and society. “There can be no doubt that you now stand convicted of conduct of great evil and depravity.”
The grandmother told BBC Scotland minutes after the sentence: “I am really pleased with the result because he really should not be on the streets.
“It’s what we have been waiting for.” She said of the attack: “It makes you a bit wary about going out. “We are all fine, apart from my blood pressure. This [sentence] should hopefully bring it down. It means we can forget about it and get on with our lives. “It’s somebody’s son – but he’s just a menace to society and should never be out.”
Yates was caught by police shortly after the attack and said he had gone out that day “looking to find some children to have sex with”. He said he intended to kill the woman so he could “get to the kids”. Lord Pentland said: “Your murderous attack was motivated by your intention to abduct and rape her two young grandchildren.
Advocate depute Alan Mackay told an earlier hearing: “While walking in the park the younger child asked to come out of her buggy. The grandmother bent down to unbuckle the child from the buggy and noticed a pair of legs standing very close to her. “She stood up and saw the accused close by, less than an arm’s length away. He was holding a sharp, pointed kitchen knife with a serrated edge in his right hand.”
He said that, without warning, Yates then thrust the knife towards the woman’s chest and during the ensuing struggle the victim found herself on the ground. She grabbed the bottom of the blade and top of the knife handle and kicked out at her attacker while the elder of the children fled with her younger sister.
Let them go
Mr Mackay said: “The struggle for the knife continued and Yates told her he’d let her go if she let go of the knife. She refused and the accused spat in her face as she continued to struggle and scream.” Another woman intervened and Yates walked away “quite calmly”. Police soon tracked him down. During an interview he maintained that he would have raped the children despite their ages but would have let them go afterwards.
Unemployed Yates admitted attempting to murder the grandmother with the intention of abducting and raping the young children in Westfield Park, Bridge of Don, on 14 October 2009. He also admitted breaching the terms of an interim sexual offences prevention order made against him at Aberdeen Sheriff Court just days earlier.
Det Supt Brian Yule, of Grampian Police, said: “This was a horrific crime targeting an innocent woman out for a walk in the park with two young children.”