Rapist who attacked woman he later found dead at canal jailed for life

Lars Pedersen carried out the attack on Alison McAllister in 2018 before returning to the scene and telling police he had found her body.

Rapist who attacked woman he later found dead at Glasgow canal path jailed for life Police Scotland

A high risk rapist who carried out a sex attack on a vulnerable woman who was found dead hours after the canalside assault was given a life sentence.

Lars Pedersen, 38, preyed on Alison McAllister after coming across her at the Forth and Clyde Canal in the Maryhill area of Glasgow.

Pedersen encountered his victim when she was sitting alone in a distressed and intoxicated state and subjected her to the rape.

A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh that the circumstances of the offence were “extremely concerning”.

Lord Doherty imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction on Pedersen following the attack on the 56-year-old victim on March 19 or 20 in 2018.

The judge said he was in no doubt that there was a likelihood that if Pedersen was at liberty he would pose a serious risk of harm to members of the public, particularly women.

He ordered that Pedersen must serve a minimum of three years and two months before he can seek release.

Pedersen has already served longer than that on remand.

But parole authorities will consider the issue of public safety before there is any possible future release for the sex attacker under the indeterminate sentence.

Pedersen left his victim at the canal path following the attack to go to a friend’s home and her worried family reported her missing. He later returned to the scene and found the body of the care home worker. 

He admitted assaulting and raping his victim after removing her lower clothing while she was intoxicated and incapable of giving or withholding consent when he earlier appeared at the High Court in Glasgow.

He did not face a charge over her death.

Prosecutor Owen Mullan said that when Pedersen initially came across his victim he thought she was upset and visibly crying.

He claimed that he asked her if she was happy to have sex. A detective asked him during an interview: “What did she say?”.

He replied: “She said she was not happy. She started complaining and things like that.”

Pedersen, who has previous convictions in England, was previously charged with an alleged sex crime in England in 2011 but that case did not go to trial.

He claimed that when he later returned to the canal path he had found Ms McAllister dead.

He told police he had discovered the body but failed to mention having been with her earlier. 

Defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC said that a full risk assessment report prepared by an expert had found that Pedersen was a high risk.

He said that professionals involved in the case had faced difficulties about reaching a concluded view as to the mental state of Pedersen.

He said: “In light of the report and the circumstances of this case there is no issue taken to the imposition of an Order for Lifelong Restriction.” 

Pedersen was placed on the sex offenders’ register for the remainder of his life.

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