May 2015

‘Chilling, predatory’ paedophile given life in prison (minimum term of eight years)


A sex offender with a “chilling and disturbing” criminal record has been handed a life sentence with a minimum term of eight years.

Judge Stephen Fowler told Alan McDonald (53) that it would be hard to conceive of someone more manipulative, violent, domineering and predatory than him.

McDonald, who stood trial at Downpatrick Crown Court, had denied 26 offences, which took place over a six-year period from 1996 to 2002, including:

  • Rape

  • Buggery

  • Indecent assault

  • False imprisonment

All against three children and an adult

During the 1990s he lived on the Antrim Road in Belfast and also in Kilcooley in Bangor

The defendant, with a current address at Orchardgate in Cupar & Fife, was told by the judge that the sentence imposed against him was justified and necessary to protect the public.

One of McDonald’s victims was groomed by him aged 14, became pregnant by him aged 15 and was raped at knifepoint in her bed by him when she was an adult after he broke in.

McDonald groomed the girl by talking to her about music and giving her money, but he later attacked her and burned her with cigarettes.

His other victims were a woman he was in a relationship with and her two daughters, then aged five and nine.

He sexually abused both girls and threatened to kill the youngest one’s father.

McDonald also subjected their mother to “extreme domestic violence”, punching and choking her and stabbing her face with a potato peeler.

Handing McDonald a life sentence with a minimum term of eight years, judge Fowler said he believed he would commit further crimes.

The judge added: “There are good grounds for believing the defendant will present a source of danger to the public. These are grave offences against a background of a defendant with a serious violent criminal record.”

Speaking after sentence was passed, one of McDonald’s victims said she felt justice had finally been served. She said: “I’m delighted that he’s in jail now, and I’m especially happy that he was given a life sentence.

“This means that he is not going to get the opportunity to hurt anyone again for a very long time.

“I’m happy not just for me, but for his other three victims. He sexually abused me and he also scarred me for life because he burned me with cigarettes. I’m still scared of him, but I know that the sentence means he can’t hurt anyone else.”

Judge Fowler also revealed the extent of McDonald’s “serious and violent” criminal record which included:

  • attacking a former girlfriend with a bottle and leaving her with a permanent facial disfigurement

  • chasing and threatening a terrified female with a knife, forcing her to hide in a bathroom

  • beating a man in Scotland who was left with a cut throat and slice wounds to his eyelids

  • choking and strangling his brother, who awoke from his sleep to find his sibling attacking him