A convicted rapist from Lanark who continued his campaign of violence in the Scottish prison system has been told he will stay behind bars until he ceases to be a danger to others.
On Friday a rare indeterminate jail sentence was passed on John McKinlay (28), who was originally jailed in 2013 for six years after raping two women and committing assaults against females.
While in jail he attacked other inmates and on July 26, 2016 he threw hot water from a kettle over a prisoner at Edinburgh’s Saughton jail.
The victim, Paul Murray, suffered eye injuries in the attack and later underwent surgery for a membrane graft.
McKinlay admitted attacking him to his severe injury and impairment when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last year, but Sheriff Norman McFadyen sent the case to the High Court because of its greater powers of sentencing.
A judge, who earlier criticised the Crown decision to raise the prosecution at sheriff court level, on Friday imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction on McKinlay.
Lord Uist said he was satisfied that McKinlay constituted a high risk to the safety of the public at large and told him: “That order constitutes a sentence of imprisonment for an indefinite period.”
The judge ruled that McKinlay must serve two years and three months under the Order before he can become eligible to apply for parole.
He told him: “You must not assume you will be released at the end of that period. You will be released only when it is considered no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be confined in prison.”
Lord Uist said at the High Court in Edinburgh that the latest jail assault committed by McKinlay, who was originally scheduled for release next year, was “a cruel and calculated” offence.
Murray was alone in his cell when he heard his name being spoken softly and turned to see a figure throw something towards his face.
He closed his eyes but felt hot liquid hit them and his forehead and yelled out in pain before prison officers came to his aid.
McKinlay was caught on CCTV leaving his own cell in the jail and walking along a corridor carrying a kettle before entering the victim’s cell. When officers approached him after the attack he admitted assaulting Murray. The victim was treated at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for burns.
The court heard that McKinlay had been experiencing “auditory hallucinations” and reported to medical authorities that voices were telling him to hurt people.
It was also claimed that he felt bullied and intimidated and on the day of the attack his dinner tray had been knocked out of his hand.
McKinlay previously slashed another prisoner in Perth jail in 2015 with a makeshift bladed weapon, leaving him scarred for life. The victim had complained he was being bullied.
Lord Uist pointed out that McKinlay’s criminal record consisted of 12 court appearances and included 11 assault convictions.
The judge previously criticised the Crown for bringing the latest prosecution at sheriff court level and described it as “an indefensible decision”.
Defence counsel Gordon Jackson QC had argued that, following a diagnosis of adult ADHD, there was “room for optimism” over McKinlay and an lifelong order was not required. But advocate depute Jane Farquharson QC argued that the risk he presented was too great for him to be put back into the community.