Rapist jailed for life after string of sex attacks across Fife

David MacBride, formerly of Westwood Avenue, was jailed. Picture: Police Scotland/Google
David MacBride, formerly of Westwood Avenue, was jailed. Picture: Police Scotland/Google

A high-risk sex attacker who fled to Spain after leaving a little girl haunted by nightmares has been jailed for life.

David MacBride (44) was brought back to Scotland from Spain this year to face justice after failing to turn up for a court hearing in 2016 and fleeing abroad.

MacBride, formerly of Westwood Avenue, Kirkcaldy, carried out sex assaults on women and children between 2007 and 2014 at addresses in Cardenden, Glenrothes, Burntisland, Kirkcaldy, Methil and Dunfermline. Some women were subjected to multiple rapes.

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One woman, who met him when she was a teenager, said that she was the victim of sex attacks “more than once”.

The 29-year-old said she had been in bed and tried to pretend she was sleeping when MacBride arrived at her flat but he got on top of her.

She told horrified jurors: “He grabbed my arms. He pinned them against the bed. I tried to struggle to get my arms free. He was too strong.”

MacBride was convicted earlier this year on rape and sexual assault charges. He had pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching bail by failing to attend a procedural hearing at the high court because he had gone to Spain.

Judge Lord Uist deferred sentence to obtain reports about MacBride’s character.

On Thursday, at a hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Uist imposed an order for lifelong restriction on MacBride.

Passing sentence, Lord Uist told MacBride that he’d have to serve a minimum of 10 years before he is able to apply for parole.

However, the parole board are legally obliged only to release him once enough evidence is available to show he no longer poses a threat to women.

Lord Uist added: “The criminal justice social work report which I obtained on you stated that you posed a risk of further analogous offending. I therefore made a risk assessment order in respect of you.

“The risk assessor appointed by the court has now reported that your being at liberty presents a high risk to the safety of the public at large. I am therefore satisfied that the risk criteria are met in your case.

“Accordingly, I make an order for lifelong restriction in respect of you. That order constitutes a sentence of imprisonment for an indefinite period.

“You must not assume that you will be released at the end of that period: you will be released only when it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be confined in prison.”

At proceedings earlier this year, the 29-year-old woman told the jury of how she was just 19 when MacBride first attacked her.

She said she was “quite panicked” and told MacBride to get off but he ignored her pleas to stop.

She added: “I asked him to get off me again. Still he never did. He ended up pulling my underwear off. He carried on and had sex with me.”

The woman agreed that MacBride appeared “like he was doing no wrong”. She told advocate depute Lisa Gillespie that when she later spoke to him “he thought there was nothing wrong with it”.

She said: “He thought there was nothing wrong with a bit of rough sex. I had marks round my wrists.” The woman said that MacBride perpetrated attacks on her when he arrived at the flat drunk.

A second woman, now aged 44, said MacBride turned up unexpectedly at a flat she had moved into in Glenrothes in 2010 as her partner was in hospital recovering from an attack which resulted in him being in a coma.

The woman said she surprised to see him but agreed to let him stay the night while she slept on a couch. She said she woke up and found MacBride trying to carry out a sexual assault on her.

She said she pretended to be asleep because she “was not sure what he was going to do next”. She said: “I just froze.”

But she said her daughter came in and caught MacBride in the act and began shouting at him and threatened to phone the police prompting him to leave.

A girl revealed that MacBride had first abused her when she was aged five. She told the court she was left feeling scared and added: “He said not to tell anyone or my mum would go to jail.”

During recorded interviews with the child, now aged 13, she revealed she was having nightmares about MacBride “coming to get us”.

She said MacBride abused her on an occasion when he was left with her as other family members attended a relative’s funeral.

During a police interview over the allegations made against him father-of-nine MacBride told officers that one of the women was out to get him and was seeking revenge against him. MacBride was detained in the southern Spanish city Cadiz last year before being brought back to Scotland.

Lord Uist told MacBride that he had no option but to impose an Order For Lifelong Restriction.

He added: “You fled from justice by going to continental Europe and had to be brought back from Spain to stand trial.

“This was a very serious breach of bail by deliberately fleeing abroad and causing much public expense to find you and bring you back.”

Detectives from Fife’s Public Protection Unit (PPU) began to investigate MacBride in November 2015 yet, whilst on bail, he fled the country.

Officers worked with police forces across Europe to locate MacBride, who was subsequently arrested in Cadiz, Spain in January 2018.

Detective Inspector Scott Davidson from PPU said: “MacBride is a dangerous individual and we welcome this sentence.

“He has now been given an Order for Lifelong Restriction due to the risk he poses to the public, and we hope the victims can now begin to move on with their lives.

“MacBride attempted to evade justice by fleeing the country, yet due to the bravery and courage of the victims he was brought before the courts to stand trial for his crimes.

“I would like to thank the victims and partner forces who assisted us in bringing MacBride to justice.

“We will always investigate all reports of sexual abuse and ensure perpetrators of such crimes are brought to justice.”

Anyone with concerns or information about sexual abuse can contact Police Scotland on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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