FOR almost a decade a violent sexual predator stalked Ibrox, attacking and raping women at random.

In a half-mile square area in the shadow of its imposing football stadium, eight females were raped between 1979 and 1987.

Women of all ages were reluctant to go out on their own at night during that period for good reason.

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If they did venture out in the dark they at least made sure a friend or male relative accompanied them.

The eighth rape in early 1987 would prove to be the most horrifying yet with the victim left for dead in freezing cold temperatures.

The level of violence and viciousness alerted the city’s top detective Joe Jackson who decided it was time that the ‘Beast of Ibrox’ was finally brought to justice.

He had just taken over as head of CID for the Govan division, the most violent and dangerous police beat in Scotland.

The latest victim, a young woman in her early 20s, had been attacked on Shieldhall Road in Ibrox late at night.

She had just stepped off a bus and was walking the short distance home when she was grabbed off the street and threatened with a knife.

The beast dragged the young woman 100 yards down a railway embankment and onto a disused railway line where he repeatedly attacked and raped her for between three and four hours.

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There no-one could hear her cries and screams for help above the roar of the traffic from the nearby M8.

She was battered and bruised, her body covered in cuts and then abandoned half-naked in the freezing cold. During the sustained attack the woman had not only been raped repeatedly but he had also tried to strangle his victim.

Summoning her last reserves of energy, the traumatised victim staggered barefoot across a railway line and up the side of the embankment where she flagged down 
a police car on Paisley Road West.

When she arrived at the nearby Glasgow Southern General she was also suffering from hypothermia due to the time she had spent out in the plummeting temperatures in her torn clothes.

The police officer who drove the terrified woman to hospital, however, obtained a detailed description of the attacker.

He was about 30 and, crucially, had a beard.

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Many of the previous victims had also described their attacker and yet Jackson’s predecessors had failed to bring him to justice.

Detective Superintendent Jackson took immediate steps to review all unsolved rapes on his patch, going back to 1979, and the previous seven rape victims were traced and reinterviewed.

The police also believed there were other victims who had been too frightened at the time to come forward.

Even more reason to get this fiend off the streets as quickly as possible.

A few days after the rape, Detective Supt Jackson decided to go public and reveal there was a serial rapist on the loose.

He said: “It’s a case that I remember very well as I had just taken over at Govan.

“There had been other rapes before I was there and they had been investigated but not linked.

“I could not understand this as you could clearly see a pattern from the previous incidents.

“I came to the conclusion very quickly that we had a serial rapist in the area.

“Because it was such a violent attack I also went on television warning women not to go out alone at night.”

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However, at this point, the investigation hit an obstacle over the latest victim’s description of her attacker.

The cop in the car who questioned her immediately after the attack was told he had a beard.

But when she was interviewed by specialist officers from the Female and Child Unit, she made no mention of a beard.

The cop in the car, an ex-detective, insisted she said the rapist had facial hair.
From her statements an expert built a profile of a thin-faced man, going bald with crinkly hair at the sides, late 20s.

The chilling photofit – minus the beard – was issued to the public and he was immediately branded the Beast of Ibrox.

Finally the hunter had become the hunted.

The police ploy worked and with information from a shocked public they arrested 31-year-old local man Dominic Devine. 

Devine had recently been released from prison for the attempted rape of a female relative.

During his term in jail, no other rapes had been reported.

Jackson had Devine hauled in and discovered he was clean shaven.

The woman who had been raped three nights previously could not at first pick out Devine at an identity parade at London Road Police Office. 

But a young woman who had also been threatened with a hammer and raped a year earlier on waste round on Helen Street in Ibrox had no problem picking Devine out at the same ID parade. All eight victims took part in identity parades over the next two days.

Jackson added: “What struck me was that these women he had raped were still terrified to confront their attacker even in the safety of a police office and through the screen of a one-way mirror.

“They were in a terrible state when they went to the parades as this guy had really put them through the mill.

“However, they were very happy that he had been caught but probably wondered why it had taken so long.”

Jackson decided to charge Devine with the previous year’s rape to get him off the streets.

At midnight he received a call from one of his detectives saying Devine, who was in a cell at Govan Police Office, wanted to 

During the subsequent interview with one of his most experienced officers, Devine admitted two other rapes.

The following day Jackson personally quizzed him regarding the five other rapes but he denied them all. A second parade was set up where Devine was identified by more victims.

Once again he received a call saying Devine wanted to clear the air. 
He finally admitted his part in other rapes including the railway embankment attack.

But what about the beard? 

Devine did have one when he raped the most recent victim. 

He had, however, shaved it off  – which is why the victim did not recognise him at first.

Jackson’s detectives were also able to find a recent photograph taken of Devine that crucially showed him with a beard at the time of the last attack.

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At the High Court in Glasgow later that year, Devine was found guilty of four rapes, attempting to murder one victim and of another attempted rape.

The judge sentenced him to life in prison – then only the third man in Scottish legal history to be given life for rape.

In 2006, 19 years after being sent to jail, Devine was back in the news while on a parole programme at Saughton Prison, Edinburgh.

To help him prepare for life on the outside, he worked in local charity shops in Edinburgh five days a week. 

But Devine was accused of smuggling drugs into Saughton and his release date was put back.

In 2010, it was then claimed he had been caught smuggling heroin into Shotts Prison, Lanarkshire, and transferred to Peterhead. Little is known about Devine’s prison life after that.

He is thought to have been freed in July 2017, more than 30 years after his last rape, at the age of 61.

Jackson, who retired in 1992 after 32 years’ service, says the 1987 Devine investigation was one of the most satisfying cases he worked on.

He also put serial killer Angus Sinclair behind bars in 1982 and believes there are similarities between the two men.

Ironically, it was reported in 2008 that both had become friendly while in prison together.

He added: “Devine was a danger to all women particularly as he had tried to rape his own sister-in-law.

“Had we not arrested Devine and put him behind bars then I am convinced he may well have carried out further attacks.

“He was almost like Angus Sinclair, a serial rapist who would and could not stop. For all we knew Devine may have carried out other rapes which the victims were too frightened to report.

“At the time I looked at unsolved rapes across the whole of Glasgow, but the ones in Govan were the ones we were able to charge him.

“The most important thing was Dominic Devine had been taken off the streets and women were once again safe.”