A Scot who raped a teenager on the holiday island of Zante six years ago will today be extradited to Greece to begin his prison sentence.
Former lorry driver Thomas McLean, 62, inflicted the prolonged and violent knifepoint attack after following the 18-year-old home from her summer bar job in 2014.
His victim, now 23, told STV News: “I am so relieved that after all this time he is finally going to prison where he won’t be able to hurt anyone else.
“His extradition today does not make up for what he did or the length of time this has taken although it is some kind of justice.”
McLean was freed on bail and returned to Scotland but failed to attend his 2017 trial in the city of Patras which resulted in a guilty verdict and a ten-year prison sentence.
The Crown Office then sought his extradition but the process was beset by delays before being granted at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.
McLean, from Whitburn, West Lothian, was today escorted by police from Scotland to Greece where he will serve his sentence in the city of Tripoli.
The victim, from the north of England, had to beg for her life during the two-hour ordeal and returned to Zante to give evidence at the trial.
She added: “I will never get back these lost years but now he’s behind bars, I’m determined to rebuild my life. Throughout this time, the support from my mum and family has been incredible.”
McLean has been remanded since Sheriff Nigel Ross granted extradition last month but his planned Christmas Eve transfer to Greece was delayed.
According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, overcrowding is a problem in Greek prisons and inmates can usually apply for parole after serving two-fifths of their sentence.
Greece adheres to an international agreement which would allow McLean to apply to serve some of his sentence in the UK.
The Crown Office said: “There has been close cooperation between prosecutors in Scotland and Greece in securing the extradition of Thomas McLean to Greece where he is sought to serve a sentence of ten years’ imprisonment for rape.
“Assistance has been provided by the United Kingdom’s criminal justice adviser to Greece and colleagues in the European Judicial Network.”