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Reporter ‘living in fear’ as second police force slammed over baby rape threat probe

Patricia Devlin 2020A journalist who received a rape threat against her newborn baby says she is continuing to “live in fear” as a second police force faces questions over the investigation into the case.

Patricia Devlin has hit out at the “farcical” probe into the threat after Amnesty International and Media Freedom Rapid Response urged action from Police Scotland on the matter.

HTFP reported last month how Belfast-based Patricia, pictured, had lodged an official complaint with the Police Service of Northern Ireland over the matter.

Scottish investigative journalism website The Ferret has now revealed PSNI passed information about a Scottish-based suspect’s whereabouts to Police Scotland, but Patricia was advised officers could do nothing until the man came to their attention for something else.

Sunday World reporter Patricia, a double winner at the 2014 Regional Press Awards, told HTFP: “Not one but two police forces have serious questions to answer as to why a dangerous individual has not been held to account for making threats to a baby.

“They’ve had the evidence for many, many months and have failed to act. How and why this has happened needs to be known.

“From being told that both the PSNI and Police Scotland could not collectively locate this individual to, more recently, being wrongly informed that making a rape threat to a child would not fall under the Malicious Communications Act in Scotland, the reasons given so far as to why this violent criminal has not even been questioned have bordered on the farcical.

“As time goes on, my faith in any sort of police action being taken against this man diminishes rapidly.

“Meanwhile, he walks the streets as myself and my family continue to live in fear.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson told The Ferret: “We can confirm that we liaised with the Police Service of Northern Ireland regarding an enquiry of theirs. Police Scotland has not arrested or charged any individual in relation to this enquiry.

“We can also confirm we have received correspondence in relation to a complaint and this is being looked into. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”