17/01/2014

Teenage Rapist Named Following BBC Challenge

The BBC has successfully challenged the terms of an injunction prohibiting the identification of a teenager who raped an elderly woman in her home, meaning he can now be named.

Ryan McGreechan attacked the 76-year-old woman in her Newtownards property after she left her front door unlocked. She had been expecting a visit from her care worker.

The attack occurred on the evening of Sunday 13 March 2011.

The BBC said McGreechan was 15 at the time and told police he had drunk half a bottle of vodka.

After the attack was over, he escaped through a bedroom window, but was seen by the care worker, who had just arrived.

McGreechan then refused to discuss the attack during police interviews.

His lawyers argued that keeping his name private would enable McGreechan to reintegrate into society when has served his sentence.

The woman died in October of the same year. BBC NI quoted the victim's daughter as saying her mother's "spark, determination and character was gone" and that she had been "distressed and humiliated by the attack until she died."

Crown Court judge Geoffrey Miller initially ruled he could be named because of the seriousness of the offence and that McGreechan proved a risk to others, the BBC said.

But McGreechan's legal team then secured an injunction to block publication of his details.

The Appeal Court said it had no jurisdiction to hear McGreechan's appeal for anonymity in the interests of open justice.

McGreechan, now 18, is serving an eight-year sentence for rape and indecent assault.

(IT/CD)

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