Killer’s appeal bid ‘disgusting’

Samantha Wright
Samantha Wright
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THE mother of a young woman who was murdered by double killer Robert Chalmers today condemned his appeal against the conviction as “absolutely disgusting”.

Catherine Gibson said her family was being tormented by Chalmers’ bid for freedom and his refusal to admit his guilt over the horrific crime.

Chalmers – dubbed Papa Smurf – was jailed for life in June last year after being found guilty of murdering Samantha Wright and dumping her body in a wheelie bin at his Duddingston home.

Now the 59-year-old is appealing against both the verdict and the 23-year minimum sentence he was given at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Ms Wright’s mother added that “precious” film footage of her daughter, which was taken away as evidence for the trial, could not be returned to the family until Chalmers’ appeal was over.

Mrs Gibson, 49, said: “I was completely shocked to find out about this appeal. Our family were just trying to sort our lives out and try to get back to as normal a life as we can.

“The evidence against him was overwhelming, and we have no doubts that he’s guilty.

“He was laughing at us during the trial and seemed to think the whole thing was a joke. He’s still laughing at us now by having these appeals.”

Ms Wright was last seen at a Jobcentre in High Riggs on June 12, 2008, although she was not reported missing until January 2009 after failing to contact her family.

Detectives discovered CCTV footage from that day showing the 25-year-old walking with an older man in Hanover Street. The image led police officers to Chalmers’ home in Magdalene Drive, and a search on October 12, 2009 uncovered Ms Wright’s body in a wheelie bin at the rear of the garden.

Experts believed her body had lain there for around 17 months.

Chalmers, a father-of-11, also stabbed drinking buddy William White to death 38 years ago and served nine years of a life sentence for murder.

Mrs Gibson, who lives in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, said: “This was the second murder he was convicted of and now he’s trying to get off with it. It’s absolutely disgusting.

She added: “I still believe there should be capital punishment for cases like his where he’s killed twice. He took two lives and now all we have to hear about are his rights. He didn’t think about their rights when he killed them.”

A court spokesman confirmed that Chalmers’ next hearing at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh was set for April 3.