World’s End killer Angus Sinclair drops appeal

WORLD’S End killer Angus Sinclair has abandoned his appeal against his convictions for raping and murdering two school friends almost 37 years ago.

Christine Eadie, left, and Helen Scott, who were murdered by Angus Sinclair in 1977. Picture: PA
Christine Eadie, left, and Helen Scott, who were murdered by Angus Sinclair in 1977. Picture: PA

The 70-year-old convicted murderer raped and strangled 17-year-olds Helen Scott and Christine Eadie after a night out at the World’s End pub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in October 1977.

Sinclair – who was the first person in Scotland to be retried for the same crime after an acquittal – was handed a 37-year sentence by judge Lord Matthews in November 2014.

He launched an appeal earlier this year to have his convictions quashed.

Angus Sinclair. Picture: Neil Hanna/TSPL

Yesterday defence advocate Ian Duguid QC told the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh that his client no longer wanted his convictions set aside.

Mr Duguid told judge Lady Smith that Sinclair still wanted appeal judges to reduce the 37-year sentence given to him at the High Court in Livingston.

He added: “The appeal is to continue only in respect of ­sentencing.”

The jury at Sinclair’s trial last year took just two hours to conclude that he was responsible for the murders of Miss Scott and Miss Eadie, along with his late brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton, who died in 1996 without facing trial.

The two teenagers were killed after they got into Sinclair’s caravanette outside the city centre pub where they had been drinking on Saturday, 15 October 1977.

They were found dead six miles apart in the East Lothian countryside the following day.

Miss Eadie’s body had been dumped naked at Gosford Bay while Miss Scott’s remains were discovered at Coates Farm, naked from the waist down.

Both girls had been badly beaten, raped and throttled with their own underwear.

Sinclair, of St George’s Cross Glasgow, had been in prison since 1982 and has a string of convictions for theft, rape and murder dating back to 1959.

In 1961, he was convicted of sexually assaulting and strangling seven-year-old Catherine Reehill and was sentenced to ten years in jail. Between June and December 1977, detectives say there is enough evidence available that he murdered six women in just seven months.

In 2004, Scottish launched Operation Trinity, a review of the murders. Sinclair was charged and went on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh in 2007 but the case collapsed in controversial circumstances. After hearings lasting two weeks, the judge ruled there was no case to answer.

The prosecutor failed to put DNA evidence before the jury which would have suggested that Sinclair had tied the knots on the ligatures used to bind and strangle the girls. The serial killer was eventually brought to justice – but only after the law was changed to allow retrials in certain circumstances when new evidence was discovered.

Yesterday Lady Smith allowed for the appeal against conviction to be abandoned.