HeadLine: ‘This man is a serious risk to the public – it’s imperative
The Mirror, 07/11/2001, p4&5
by SHAUN MILNE
A MAN feared to have carried out a brutal rape on a schoolgirl and a
string of other child sex attacks was being hunted by cops last night.
Detectives are so fearful he could strike again they took the rare step
of releasing a photograph of their prime suspect in a desperate bid to
track him down.
Lothian and Borders Police warned it was “vital” that John Bermingham,
from Muirhouse, in Edinburgh, be found, saying they regard him as being
A police spokesman said: “This man presents a serious risk to the
public and, in particular, to young girls.
“It is imperative he is caught before any other offences are committed.”
Detectives want to quiz suspect Bermingham over the vile and brutal
attack of a 12-year-old schoolgirl.
Sickened cops received special permission from the Crown Office to
release his name and photograph.
Police did not release details of the attack on the 12-year-old girl.
Instead, they channelled their energies into tracking their suspect
However, sources admit they also want to question him over the rape of
an 11-year-old girl in Edinburgh last year.
The schoolgirl was grabbed as she walked home from a regular function.
She was dragged down a lane behind Newington Library in the south of
the city, and subjected to an appalling sex attack lasting 20 minutes.
The dazed and sobbing girl was found by worried relatives who had been
searching for her as she staggered from the scene.
Detectives also want to question Bermingham about other sex attacks.
Only 50 minutes before the rape at Newington Library, a man tried to
abduct an 18-year-old girl on a footpath at nearby Cameron Toll
The brave teenager spent five minutes battling with the man as he told
bypassers that she was drunk, before he finally fled.
Reconstructions of the two attacks were shown on Crimewatch last
December in a bid to help catch the sex attacker.
Witnesses who were involved were stunned at the resemblance the actor
playing the rapist bore to the prime suspect.
Ten days after the Newington rape the same man was spotted prowling
outside the home of a young girl in Kelvingrove Street in Glasgow and
was only scared off by the youngster’s parents.
The major breakthrough in one of Scotland’s most horrific unsolved sex
crimes has been assisted by DNA evidence gathered from the two
incidents in Edinburgh and Glasgow last November.
Bermingham, 35, has gone to ground in London with his wife and family
and police have issued his photograph in an attempt to flush him out.
Bermingham has links to the travelling community and is known to have
travelled around the UK.
Police confirmed yesterday that while his last known address was in
Edinburgh, he has also lived in Glasgow, London and Central Scotland.
Bermingham is described as 5ft 10in tall, of medium build and has a
He has reddish brown hair but is known to dye it brown and has blond
Police have urged the public not to approach him but if he is spotted
to contact their nearest police station or to phone Crimestoppers.
A police source also revealed they also want to quiz him about a sexual
attack on two girls in the Trinity area of Edinburgh in July of this
The girls, aged just five and nine, were playing on scooters on a
deserted cycle path when they were assaulted by an unshaven man who was
smelling of alcohol.
The man led the girls in to a wooded area where he abused them and left
them in a distressed state as he casually walked off.
The source added: “This man is highly dangerous and must be caught
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