World’s End killer costs taxpayer £1m in legal aid

Angus Sinclair, pictured in 1977. Picture: Crown Office
Angus Sinclair, pictured in 1977. Picture: Crown Office
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WORLD’S End murderer Angus Sinclair will cost taxpayers more than £1million in legal aid.

The brutal killer and rapist has so far received £730,000 from the Scottish Legal Aid Board(SLAB) but that figure is set to rocket.

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Lawyers have yet to submit their final bills for the historic World’s End double murder trial that ended last week, meaning the costs are bound to soar.

Sinclair’s first abortive trial for the World’s End murders, which collapsed in 2007, cost more than pounds530,000 - suggesting the recent trial will cost more.

Politicians have hit out at 69-year-old Sinclair’s refusal to admit to his appalling crimes and the impact on the public purse.

Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said: “The public don’t mind contributing to the legal aid bill.

“But when evil criminals like Angus Sinclair are able to receive legal aid in seven-figure sums, that sits very badly indeed.

“Everyone has the right to legal representation but at the same time, people like this shouldn’t be able to abuse the system.

“His not guilty pleas not only caused extended heartache for the families of his victims but needlessly cost the public purse huge amounts of money too.” The SLAB figures cover the past 13 years of Sinclair’s legal cases.

He received a life sentence in 2001 for the murder of 17-year-old Mary Gallacher, who was raped and stabbed in Glasgow in 1978.

The trial led to legal aid costs of £94,890.

The first World’s End trial cost £530,932 - while a further £104,733 was spent on helping Sinclair fight moves to put him back on trial for the murders.

This money, the £104,733 figure, is what is known as Assistance By Way Of Representation (ABWOR) payments.

A SLAB spokesman said: “An important part of the Scottish justice system is that those who cannot afford their own defence have access to legal advice and representation.

“ABWOR is provided by solicitors and is available under the Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Act 2011.

The Scotsman’s home affairs correspondent Chris Marshall looks back on one of Scotland’s most notorious murder cases

“It includes payments for outlays for counsel and other costs, such as travel, accommodation and photocopying.

“ABWOR was provided by solicitors to Mr Sinclair to oppose the Crown’s application to bring fresh proceedings against him following an alteration in the law over double jeopardy.

“Decisions to grant legal aid are based on legislation passed by the Scottish parliament. We must apply this legislation to assess if somebody is eligible for criminal legal aid.

“While certain high-profile cases attract attention, legal aid helps large numbers of often vulnerable people get access to justice.”

The second World’s End trial made legal history as it was the first to be held following reform of 800-year-old double jeopardy legislation, allowing for people to be tried more than once for the same crime in certain circumstances, for example if new evidence has come to light - as it had in Sinclair’s case.

On Friday, he was convicted of murdering Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, both 17. The teenagers were abducted, raped and killed after they had been drinking at the World’s End pub in Edinburgh.

Sinclair was jailed for a minimum of 37 years for the crimes, the longest prison sentence in Scottish legal history.

But police said he may be responsible for the deaths of six other young women.

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