A RAPIST with a reputation for sacking lawyers finally persuaded a top QC to represent him – and promptly lost his appeal.
A jury found John Munro, 37, guilty of a vicious sex attack in Barrhead which almost killed a policeman’s teenage daughter.
But, because Munro kept dismissing his legal team, it took a dozen court appearances over 14 months before Lord Kinclaven could finally pass sentence.
The judge imposed an order keeping Munro under supervision for the rest of his life and jailed him for a minimum of eight years.
Munro, who claimed there had been kissing and cuddling and “some intimacy” with the 18-year-old girl, took his case to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, claiming there had not been enough evidence at the trial to prove full sex had taken place.
Yesterday, Gordon Jackson QC argued that the jury’s guilty verdict should be overturned because there was no corroboration for the teenager’s account of Munro having full sex with her.
But, during a brief hearing about evidence of DNA found on the girl’s clothes, advocate depute Iain McSporran told the judges: “Your lordships can be satisfied that the scientific evidence amply supports the evidence.”
Lord Carloway, sitting with Lords Bonomy and Malcolm, threw out Munro’s appeal against conviction but allowed him to return to court at a later date to contest his sentence.
In January 2008, a trial heard how grinning Munro approached the teenager as she waited for a bus to take her to work on a Sunday morning.
He dragged her off the street in April 2007 and warned her to keep quiet because he had a gun.
Munro then strangled his victim until she passed out. When she came to, he was having sex with her.
A doctor told how her injuries could easily have been fatal and said they were the worst signs of strangulation he had seen during an 18-year career.
One witness said that, as Munro pulled the terrified girl towards an alley, he seemed to have a smile on his face.
Munro, of Glenburn, Paisley, was given an order for lifelong restriction – a sort of life sentence – in March last year.
He lodged an appeal but the routine of sacking lawyers began again.
Judges finally lost patience at a hearing in July and warned Munro that his case would be dealt with – whether or not there was a lawyer in court to speak for him.