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SEX BEAST'S VICTIM SPEAKS: Sick killer told cops how he let last victim survive ..I knew it was me.

Byline: DONNA WHITE Chief Writer

A TEENAGE victim of serial sex monster Stuart Leggate admitted yesterday: 'I'm so lucky to be alive.'

Patrick Murray, 18, only realised how close he'd come to being murdered after Leggate was convicted of abusing then killing eight-year-old Mark Cummings, who lived close to the beast.

A court heard that bearded Leggate, 28, told police that after murdering little Mark, of Royston, Glasgow, he thought: 'I let the last one go. I am not letting this one go.' Patrick said: 'My blood ran cold when I heard that. I'm the one he was talking about - the one who escaped with my life.'

Patrick, from Carnwath, Lanarkshire, waived his right to anonymity to speak out against a legal system which allowed Leggate to get close to another child.

He said: 'That man is pure evil and should never have been free to live among families unaware of what he's capable of. 'I hope this time they throw away the key.'

At the High Court in Glasgow, Lord Dawson ordered that Leggate - who admitted murder and sexual assault - should serve a minimum 20 years before he can apply for parole.

But Patrick said: 'He won't even be 50 if he gets out then. Nothing will have changed in him. He is well-practised in putting on a friendly face and hiding the predator inside.'

Patrick was only 10 when Leggate threatened him with a double-barrelled shotgun and an axe after physically abusing him.

The monster - who lived next door to the Murrays in Lanarkshire - threatened to kill them if he told anyone about the abuse.

The terrified little boy felt he had no choice but to submit to Leggate's evil demands for more than 12 months.

His nightmare only ended when a neighbour became suspicious and alerted police.

Leggate was convicted in 1997 of abusing Patrick and two girls, aged three and seven. He was locked up for four years but freed in half the time.

Patrick's brother Kenny, 26, now lives in Leggate's old home because the teenager couldn't bear the thought of living next door to a stranger.

When the council cleaned the house after Leggate left, they found his bedroom walls plastered with pictures of naked boys.

The monster had daubed the name 'Pat' over some of the pictures.

Patrick said: 'My mum went in and saw it all. She came out screaming and crying.'

Patrick was unaware of Leggate's whereabouts until he read of his arrest for killing Mark, whose naked and battered body was dumped down a rubbish chute in a Glasgow tower block in June.

But he has never been able to forget the evil beast he met when his family moved to Carnwath in 1995.

Leggate - who had already served 60 days for a sex attack on a nine-year-old boy - lived next door with his parents Stuart and June, his sister Michelle and her boyfriend Peter Kemp, then 27, also a child abuser.

Leggate, then 19, slowly built up trust with his new neighbours before pouncing on their youngest son.

Patrick recalled: 'We had no idea of his conviction. Nobody around here did.

'He was always in the back garden wanting to play with the local kids. He kept ferrets in a shed and kept asking my parents if he could take me ferreting for rabbits. He took me to the park a couple of times.'

Patrick's family had their first glimpse of Leggate's sinister intentions three months after moving to Carnwath.

Patrick said: 'One day, he said he'd show me his computer. I'd sat up on the window ledge to get a good look when he started pulling me in through the window.

'I started screaming and my dad came out. Leggate said he'd only been kidding around. About 10 months after that, he invited me into his garden shed to watch him feeding his ferrets.

'Peter Kemp was there, too, and grabbed me and held my hands as Leggate took down my trousers and molested me.

'Leggate hissed, 'I've shown you my gun before. We'll kill your family if you shout.' 'On another occasion, he held his shotgun under my chin and said, 'I'll blow your head right off.' I was crying in terror, pleading with him, saying, 'I won't tell. I promise'.'

Patrick still suffers flashbacks and has attempted suicide several times.

Now 5ft 9in tall, he looks like any other normal teenager - except for the cuts on his arms and stomach caused by episodes of self-mutilation.

He has been on anti-depressants for most of the last eight years and cannot sleep more than a few hours a night due to nightmares.

Patrick said: 'I can't handle being in crowds of people I don't know. Strange men freak me out - especially ones with beards.' Patrick's abuse ended when the family of another child Leggate had been molesting reported him.

The police promised, 'If you tell us what he did to you, we'll take him away and you'll never have to see him again.' Leggate got four years for abusing Patrick and two girls aged three and seven. Kemp received 150 hours' community service in June 1998 after pleading guilty to three counts of lewd and libidinous practices against children. Patrick said: 'Out of the whole family, only Leggate and Kemp were friendly to the neighbours. Now I know why.

'His mother was weird. She had some of her fingers missing - including her wedding ring finger - and told my mum she'd cut them off herself with a knife.

Kemp still lives in the Lanarkshire area and Patrick's family have seen him.

Patrick said: 'He saw my older brother one day and just hung his head and ran.

'It's bad enough having him living close by. I just wish I'd known where Leggate was. I'd have warned that poor kid's family.

'Police promised I'd never have to see Leggate again. When I opened a paper and saw his face, I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach.'Something has to change to prevent paedophiles from changing location and continuing their evil attacks on children.

'My family and I are living a life sentence because of that monster.

'God knows what Mark Cummings' family are going through.

'If Leggate had been left to rot the first time he'd attacked a child, many innocent lives would not have been ruined.'

CAPTION(S):

Monster: Child abuser Stuart Leggate; Victim: Leggate killed Mark Cummings; Ordeal: Patrick suffers nightmares as a result of twisted Leggate's attacks; Living in fear: Nine-year-old Patrick
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 24, 2004
Words:1087
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