A dangerous sex offender has become the first prisoner in Scotland to die having contracted coronavirus.
John Angus, who had a criminal career in the north spanning decades, was an inmate at HMP Edinburgh having been convicted of an Aberdeen sex attack in 2010.
In a statement published today, a Scottish Prison Service (SPS) spokesman confirmed that the 66-year-old had died.
He added: “Police Scotland has been advised and the matter reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
“A fatal accident inquiry will be held in due course.”
It is understood a number of staff at HMP Edinburgh have been self-isolating after dealing with Angus, who is thought to have tested positive for the virus.
After a High Court trial in November 2010, Angus was found guilty of drugging and assaulting a 21-year-old woman at a flat in Victoria Road in Torry.
The 66-year-old, who was then living in Nairn, had broken a sex offender order by taking a train through to the city on the day of the attack that May.
He had a criminal past stretching back 30 years, for offences including indecent assault, abduction, robbery and prison breaking.
After absconding from Shotts Prison in Lanarkshire in 1991, having been jailed for indecent assault and theft, he robbed a building society on Union Street in Aberdeen.
Making off with more than £2,200, the High Court in Aberdeen heard he told a teller he was “nae joking”, as he handed over a note reading “put money in bag – I have a gun”.
He was jailed for five years on that occasion, but escaped custody again in 1994.
Angus was caught and sentenced to another 10 years behind bars, having robbed a bank in Aberdeen and a building society in Inverness.
Before he was caught, he also took a teacher and headteacher, working at a primary school near Tain, hostage.
Angus earned another year in prison for a third escape in 1998, when he went on the run for two months after being put out on a work placement.
After release in 2009, the repeat offender moved to Inverness – but it was only months before he was back in jail for breaching a sex offenders prevention order by trying to flee the Highland capital.
He was under a similar order in May 2010, when he carried out the Aberdeen sex attack.
This afternoon, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the death of an inmate is “always a matter of great regret”.
But she maintained that releasing prisoners from custody in response to coronavirus would always be a “last resort”.
Ms Sturgeon said: ““The justice secretary and I discuss this regularly and make judgements in the best interests of prisoners, prison officers and health workers in prisons.”