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Edinburgh court of appeal rejects calls to overturn sentences given to jailed paedophiles in murder case

 
 
The Court of Criminal appeal in Edinburgh has rejected calls by the lawyers of William Lauchlan and Charles O’Neil (Who were found guilty of murdering 39 year old Alison McGarrigle at Lags in Ayrshire in June 1997 despite no body being found) to look again at the original case and overturn their sentences.
Lawyers acting William Lauchlin and Charles O’Neil claim that the original trial judge, Lord Pentland, should not have asked a police Officer in the case if he thought Mrs. McGarrigle was dead.  Such a question the lawyers claim should not have been asked of the police officer as he was not an expert witness.
They claim that the police officer had given inadmissible evidence which made the trial unfair and led to a miscarriage of justice.
Prosecutor Dorothy Bain Q.C. countered their argument by saying that there had been no objection during the trial to the police officers statement that he thought Mrs. McGarrigle to be dead.  She also added that there was “no hard and fast rule that a witness had to be an expert to express an opinion”.
Lady Paton, Lady Clark and Lord Philip, the appeal judges rejected the defence arguments and denied that Lord Pentland had misdirected the jury.  It emerged after the trial that Lauchlan and O’Neill were predatory paedophiles and that Mrs. McGarrigle had cottoned on to their plans to gain access to children by offering their services as babysitters to women, particularly to those with alcohol problems.
Sebastian Giles – Expert Witness Today
  
The Court of Criminal appeal in Edinburgh has rejected calls by the lawyers of William Lauchlan and Charles O’Neil (Who were found guilty of murdering 39 year old Alison McGarrigle at Lags in Ayrshire in June 1997 despite no body being found) to look again at the original case and overturn their sentences.
Lawyers acting William Lauchlin and Charles O’Neil claim that the original trial judge, Lord Pentland, should not have asked a police Officer in the case if he thought Mrs. McGarrigle was dead.  Such a question the lawyers claim should not have been asked of the police officer as he was not an expert witness.
They claim that the police officer had given inadmissible evidence which made the trial unfair and led to a miscarriage of justice.
Prosecutor Dorothy Bain Q.C. countered their argument by saying that there had been no objection during the trial to the police officers statement that he thought Mrs. McGarrigle to be dead.  She also added that there was “no hard and fast rule that a witness had to be an expert to express an opinion”.
Lady Paton, Lady Clark and Lord Philip, the appeal judges rejected the defence arguments and denied that Lord Pentland had misdirected the jury.  It emerged after the trial that Lauchlan and O’Neill were predatory paedophiles and that Mrs. McGarrigle had cottoned on to their plans to gain access to children by offering their services as babysitters to women, particularly to those with alcohol problems.
Sebastian Giles – Expert Witness Today
 

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