Woman battered with dumbbell by killer forgives him ahead of parole hearing

A woman who was battered and left bloody by a convicted killer with a dumbbell says she forgives him for it.

Linda McDonald was savagely assaulted by Robbie McIntosh when she was walking her dog in woods near Dundee in August 2017.

McIntosh was out on early release from a life sentence for stabbing a woman to death when he was 15.

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He’s now 36 and is due for a parole hearing which, if successful, could see him get out having served just five years for his attack on Ms McDonald.

Despite being given an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR), he will have a hearing next week.

But as the day approaches, Linda says that it is not McIntosh she blames, but rather a lack of police checks.

She believes that before people convicted of violent crimes are let out of prison, more stringent checks are needed, theDaily Recordreports.

The 57-year-old grandmother has been campaigning for change since the incident, which took place in Templeton Woods.

"As I turned around, he was running right towards me, but I never had a chance to do anything but to put my hand up,” she told the BBC.

"As I turned around, he was running right towards me, but I never had a chance to do anything but to put my hand up.

"I knew as soon as he hit me it was serious because the smell of the blood, it's like pennies and warm. I was just stunned."

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McIntosh had been serving life for the killing of Anne Nicoll 16 years beforehand but was allowed to leave in preparation for his parole.

Linda said: "I just started screaming 'help' as loud as I could. When he hit me the second time, I just knew I blacked out."

It was only when two passers-by came to help that McIntosh stopped hitting her. "I forgive him, I don't even feel angry at him. I know some of my family and friends feel different. I feel angry at the systems that fail to keep the public safe," she said.

She wants stricter checks to be put on outgoing inmates and needs 10,000 signatures to get her petition to Scottish Parliament.

"If you're really wanting Scotland safe and you're wanting your policies and your systems to work, listen to the people who've survived when they don't work," Linda added.

A Scottish Prison Service spokesman told the Daily Record: "As we have previously made clear, we are profoundly sorry for what happened to Mrs McDonald. We are fully aware of the life-changing consequences, for her and her family, as a result of this dreadful act. We have engaged with Mrs McDonald and will continue to do so."

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