William Hugh Lauchlan and Charles Bernard O’Neill v. HM Advocate (No 2) 19 June 2014

William Hugh Lauchlan and Charles Bernard O’Neill were found guilty of child sexual as well as, in a separate trial, the  murder of Mrs Allison McGarrigle, the mother of one of their many child abuse victims. This is the appeal of June 2014.

Another appeal from them in 2013 is here [4]

The apellants were referred to in Cathy Fox Blog post on Boats and Child Abuse [1]

They are also mentioned with photographs here [3]

Cathy Fox Blog Index and Timeline of Court Appeals and Documentation [2]

Redaction

Some reports have had victims names redacted and some assault details redacted.

This is a difficult balance-  normally I would think that  I should not “censor” details but on consultation with various people I have taken the decision to redact. This is mainly to protect victims, their friends and relatives from unnecessary detail and to stop the gratification of those who seek salacious details.

In addition to the obvious “victims redaction” I have thus “assault redacted” across most of the spectrum of abuse. This may obscure sometimes the legal reason for the appeal, but should make no large difference to the vital information for researchers that these documents contain. That information is mainly names of the perpetrators, past addresses, the actual charges the perpetrators faced – on which newspapers are pathetically inaccurate and this information enables the links between people and places and abuse at various times to be ascertained.

If you think that the balance is not correct or that a particular redaction needs reconsideration, please say.

Index Timeline of Newspaper Articles on Cathy Fox Blog [103]

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.  National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups. Other useful sites are One in Four [C]  and Havoca [D]. Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog. Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.

No 8
COURT OF JUSTICIARY
19 June 2014
[2014] HCJAC 62

Lord Justice-Clerk (Carloway), Lord Menzies and Lord Brodie
William Hugh Lauchlan

First appellant—
G Jackson *QC* , Considine*(Solicitor-advocate)*
Charles Bernard O’Neill

Second appellant—
J Carroll *(Solicitor-advocate)*
Her Majesty’s Advocate

Respondent—
Dr Bain *QC, A-D*

Justiciary — Evidence — Corroboration — Moorov doctrine — Whether evidence
of crime committed in England as part of a course of conduct could be
adduced to prove crimes committed in Scotland where accused acquitted on
charge evidence led in support of — Whether reliance on evidence led in
respect of charge accused acquitted of to support conviction on a different
charge contrary to Convention right to fair trial — European Convention on
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Art 6(2)

Justiciary — Procedure — Verdict on charge in respect of which court
accepts it has no jurisdiction — Whether competent

Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms provides, *inter alia* , “(2) Everyone charged with a criminal
offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.”

On 12 May 2010, the first appellant was found guilty of the sodomy of a 14
year old at an address within Scotland (charge 5). He and the second
appellant were also found guilty of two other charges, the first relating
to sexual assault on a different 14 year old in Spain (charge 7), and the
second relating to meeting a third person under the age of 16 at various
addresses in Scotland and England with the intention of engaging in
unlawful sexual activity involving, or involving the presence of a child
(charge 10). Sentence was deferred pending a separate trial relating to
charges of murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice. On 10 June
2010, the appellants were found guilty of the murder of a woman between 21
June and 1 September 1997, and of a subsequent attempt to defeat the ends
of justice by disposing of her body at sea.

In the course of the trial, the Crown relied in seeking a conviction in
relation to the other sexual offences on evidence led in respect of conduct
libelled as a single charge relating to events said to have taken place in
both Scotland and in England (charge 8). The complainer in charge 8 spoke
only to events occurring in England. On an unopposed no case to answer
submission being made by the defence in respect of charge 8, the judge held
that there was insufficient evidence to prove the charge and formally
acquitted the appellants of it.

Following conviction as previously set out, the appellants were sentenced
to life imprisonment for the murder, with punishment parts of 26 and 30
years respectively, and to concurrent sentences of eight years’
imprisonment for attempting to defeat the ends of justice. The appellants
were also sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for the sexual offences, to
be served concurrently.

Following a hearing on 27 March 2014, the appeals against conviction in
respect of the murder were refused by the High Court of Justiciary ([2014]
HCJAC 22 ; 2015 JC 11 ). The remaining grounds of appeal thereafter came
before the High Court of Justiciary for a hearing on 22 April 2014.

The first appellant submitted that the trial judge had erred in directing
the jury that they could use evidence in respect of the events said to have
taken place in England in support of the charge of which the appellants had
been acquitted (charge 8) to corroborate evidence of a different complainer
on the charge relating to events in Spain (charge 7). Having been acquitted
of the charge in relation to which that evidence had been led, it could not
be used to support evidence on the other charges. In any event, even if the
jury were entitled to have regard to that evidence, the trial judge should
have directed the
jury that the evidence led regarding the events in England could only be
considered mutually corroborative if there had been no consent to what had
taken place. There was in any event insufficient similarity in time, place
and circumstances for mutual corroboration to apply and no jury properly
directed could have convicted in these circumstances. In respect of
sentence, the level of the punishment part was excessive for the less
dominant of the participants.

The second appellant submitted that evidence of a charge in Scotland could
not be corroborated by evidence of similar acts in England or elsewhere in
the United Kingdom, since such acts were not triable in Scotland.
Furthermore, where an accused had been acquitted of a charge, it was
contrary to Art 6(2) of the Convention for the Crown to continue to
maintain that the appellants were guilty of a charge in circumstances in
where they had been acquitted, as this ran contrary to the presumption of
innocence. In respect of the sentence, the punishment part fixed was
excessive considering that there was no known cause of death and having
regard to sentences passed in other similar cases.

The Advocate-depute submitted that evidence in relation to a crime which
did not form part of a substantive charge, because the crime was not within
the jurisdiction of the Scottish courts to try, could be used as
corroboration of a crime within the Scottish jurisdiction if there were the
requisite conventional similarities in time, place and circumstances.
Evidence adduced on a charge of which an accused has been acquitted does
remain available for the jury’s consideration on the other charges. There
was sufficient similarity between the charges for the jury to hold that
mutual corroboration applied and the European jurisprudence did not
prohibit the use of evidence on one charge being used, but rather
prohibited the Crown suggesting that the person was guilty of a crime of
which he had been acquitted.

*Held* that: (1) evidence of a crime committed outwith the jurisdiction of
a Scottish court could be led as evidence of a continuing course of conduct
to prove crimes committed in Scotland provided notice had been given (paras
26, 29); (2) the libel is intended to provide fair notice to an accused of
the evidence against him and competent evidence put before a jury based on
the libel is available to the jury irrespective of whether the libel
remains before the jury and whether an acquittal on a particular charge
follows or not (para 29); (3) it was incompetent for the court to return a
verdict on a charge in respect of which it had no jurisdiction as had
happened in this case on charge 8 (paras 23, 31); (4) in considering the
issue of corroboration in the context of sexual offences, although it was
not enough that there had been sexual conduct, focusing on the similarities
between the conduct complained of rather than the differences, there was
sufficient similarity in the conduct referred to in the charges libelled
(paras 33, 34); (5) no breach of Art 6(2) of the Convention resulted from
the reliance on evidence led in one single criminal process even if there
was no conviction on a charge in respect of which the evidence had been led
(para 35); (6) the circumstances of conviction for previous predatory
sexual assaults on the vulnerable young son of the murder victim,
imprisonment therefor and the breaching of the terms of supervision
thereanent, conviction in the present proceedings of further predatory
sexual assaults on vulnerable boys or young men and of planning to involve
a child aged only six, the murder of a woman in a vulnerable state and the
manner of disposal of her body meant that the punishment parts chosen by
the trial judge were not excessive (para 55); and appeals refused.

* Cannell v HM Advocate * 2009 SCCR 207 *approved in part* and * M v HM
Advocate *2011 SLT 1047*not followed* .

William Hugh Lauchlan and Charles Bernard O’Neill were charged on an
indictment at the instance of Her Majesty’s Advocate, the libel of which
set forth 15 charges of or relating to sexual offences against children and
three charges relating to the murder of a woman and an attempt to defeat
the ends of justice by disposing of her body at sea. They pled not guilty.
After a preliminary hearing, on 17 July 2009, a judge (Lord Kinclaven)
ordered that the murder charges were to be separated from the sexual
offences charges. The trial on the sexual offences charges took place
before a judge (Lord Pentland) and jury, between 26 April and 12 May
2014 77JCLauchlan and O’Neill v HM Advocate (No 2)
2010. On 12 May 2010, the appellants were convicted of certain of those
charges. Lord Pentland made orders under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (cap
42), and deferred sentence pending the trial on the murder charges. That
trial took place between 17 May and 10 June 2010 before Lord Pentland and a
different jury. On 10 June 2010 the appellants were convicted. They were
sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder, with punishment parts of 26
and 30 years respectively, and to concurrent sentences of eight years’
imprisonment for attempting to defeat the ends of justice. The appellants
were also sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for the sexual offences, to
be served concurrently.

The appellants appealed against conviction and sentence to the High Court
of Justiciary on a number of grounds but were refused leave to appeal by
the sifting judges on grounds relating to reasonable time and apparent bias
arising out of comments made by the trial judge. In respect of the first
appellant, leave to appeal in respect of the sexual offences was refused at
first sift but thereafter granted by the court in respect of one of the
charges only. In respect of the second appellant, leave to appeal in
respect of the sexual offences was refused at first sift but granted by the
court at second sift in respect of all grounds.

The appellants applied under sec 107(8) of the Criminal Procedure
(Scotland) Act 1995 (cap 46) for leave to found on those grounds of appeal
which the sifting judges had held were unarguable. The cause called before
the High Court of Justiciary (the Lord Justice-Clerk (Gill), Lord Hodge and
Lord McEwan) for a hearing. At advising, on 8 February 2012, the court held
that those grounds were not arguable and refused leave to appeal to found
on them ([2012] HCJAC 20 ). The appellants sought leave to appeal to the UK
Supreme Court. On 19 April 2012, the court granted leave to appeal ([2012]
HCJAC 51 ; 2012 GWD 17–348 ).

The appellants then appealed with leave to the UK Supreme Court. Following
the coming into force of the Scotland Act 2012 (cap 11) on 22 April 2013,
the devolution issues raised in the grounds of appeal required to be dealt
with as compatibility issues under the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act
1995. On 13 June 2013, the appeal to the Supreme Court was refused ([2013]
UKSC 36 ; 2013 SC (UKSC) 266 ).

On 27 March 2014, the appeals against conviction in respect of the murder
were refused by the High Court of Justiciary ([2014] HCJAC 22 ; 2015 JC 11
). The remaining grounds of appeal thereafter came before the High Court of
Justiciary for a hearing, on 22 April 2014.
*Cases referred to:*

* AK v HM Advocate * [2011] HCJAC 52 ; 2012 JC 74 ; 2011 SLT 915 ; 2011
SCCR 495 ; 2011 SCL 744

* Advocate (HM) v Boyle * [2009] HCJAC 89 ; 2010 JC 66 ; 2010 SLT 29 ; 2010
SCCR 103 ; 2010 SCL 198

* Advocate (HM) v Cairns * 1967 JC 37 ; 1967 SLT 165

* Advocate (HM) v Joseph * 1929 JC 55 ; 1929 SLT 414

* Advocate (HM) v Mair * [2013] HCJAC 89

* Advocate (HM) v Megrahi * 24 November 2003, unreported

* Advocate (HM) v Mone * , unreported

* Advocate (HM) v Monson * (1893) 21 R (J) 5 ; 1 SLT 405

* Advocate (HM) v Wilson * , unreported

* Ainsworth v HM Advocate * * 1997 SLT 56 * ; 1996 SCCR 631

* Allenet de Ribemont v France * (1995) 20 EHRR 557

* Cameron v HM Advocate * [2011] HCJAC 29 ; 2011 SCL 633

* Cannell v HM Advocate * [2009] HCJAC 6 ; 2009 SCCR 207 ; 2009 SCL 484

* Chalmers v HM Advocate (No 1) * [2014] HCJAC 24 ; 2014 JC 220 ; 2014 SLT
688 ; 2014 SCCR 291 ; 2014 SCL 442

* Danskin v HM Advocate * 2002 SLT 889

* Dodds v HM Advocate 2003 JC 8 * ; 2002 SLT 1058 ; 2002 SCCR 838

* Dudgeon v HM Advocate * 1988 SLT 476 ; 1988 SCCR 147

* Dumoulin v HM Advocate * 1974 SLT (Notes) 42

* Geerings v Netherlands * (2008) 46 EHRR 49 ; 24 BHRC 365

* Griffen v HM Advocate * 1940 JC 1 ; 1940 SLT 175

* Hussain v HM Advocate * [2009] HCJAC 105 ; 2010 SCCR 124 ; 2010 SCL 441

2014 78 JC Lauchlan and O’Neill v HM Advocate (No 2)

* Jakovlev v HM Advocate * [2011] HCJAC 90 ; 2012 JC 120 ; 2012 SLT 87 ; 2011
SCCR 608 ; 2012 SCL 59

* Laird v HM Advocate 1985 JC 37 * ; 1985 SLT 298

* Lamanna v Austria * (28923/95) 10 July 2001, unreported

* M v HM Advocate * [2011] HCJAC 62 ; 2011 SLT 1047 ; 2011 SCCR 500 ; 2011
SCL 776

* MR v HM Advocate * [2013] HCJAC 8 ; 2013 JC 212 ; 2013 SCCR 190 ; 2013
SCL 338

* McIntosh v HM Advocate * 1986 JC 169 ; 1987 SLT 296 ; 1986 SCCR 496

* McMahon v HM Advocate * 1996 SLT 1139

* McMurray v HM Advocate (No 2) * 2005 1 JC 271 ; 2004 SLT 1195 ; 2004 SCCR
702

* Manuel v HM Advocate * 1958 JC 41 ; 1959 SLT 23 ; 1958 SLT (Notes) 44

* Moorov v HM Advocate * 1930 JC 68 ; 1930 SLT 596

* Nelson v HM Advocate * 1994 JC 94 ; 1994 SLT 389 ; 1994 SCCR 192

* Ogg v HM Advocate * 1938 JC 152 ; 1938 SLT 513

* Reid v HM Advocate * 1999 JC 320 ; 1999 SLT 1257 ; 1999 SCCR 769

* Reynolds v HM Advocate * 1995 JC 142 ; 1996 SLT 49 ; 1995 SCCR 504

* Rushiti v Austria * (2001) 33 EHRR 56

* Sekanina v Austria * (1994) 17 EHRR 221

* Sinder v HM Advocate * 2003 SCCR 271 ; 2003 GWD 8–195

* Smith v HM Advocate * [2010] HCJAC 118 ; 2011 SLT 212 ; 2011 SCCR 134 ; 2011
SCL 261

* Thomson v HM Advocate * 1998 SCCR 657 ; 1998 GWD 36–1856

* Urquhart v HM Advocate * 1987 SCCR 31

* W v HM Advocate * 1997 SLT 51

* Walker v HM Advocate * 2003 SLT 130 ; 2002 SCCR 1036

* Walsh v HM Advocate * 1961 JC 51 ; 1961 SLT 137
*Textbooks etc referred to:*

Scottish Law Commission, *Similar Fact Evidence and the Moorov Doctrine*
(Scot Law Com no 229, May 2012), para 6.59 (Online:
http://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk/index.php/download_file/view/1004/138/ (11
August 2014))

Macdonald, JHA, *The Criminal Law of Scotland* (5th Walker and Stevenson
ed, W Green, Edinburgh, 1948), p 222

The case called before the High Court of Justiciary, comprising the Lord
Justice-Clerk (Carloway), Lord Menzies and Lord Brodie, for a hearing, on
22 April 2014.

At advising, on 19 June 2014, the opinion of the Court was delivered by the
Lord Justice-Clerk (Carloway)—

Opinion of the Court—
General

[1] On 12 May 2010, at the High Court of Justiciary in Glasgow, Mr O’Neill
was found guilty of the sodomy of  A, aged 1*, in June 2003 at an address
in Irvine (charge 5). Both appellants were found guilty of two other
charges. The first (charge 7) was a sexual assault on  B, aged 1*, in a
motorhome in Spain in April 2004; contrary to sec 16B of the Criminal Law
(Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 (cap 39). The second (charge 10) was of
meeting a person under 16, namely E, at various addresses in Scotland and
England between December 2007 and March 2008, with the intention of
engaging in unlawful sexual activity involving, or in the presence of a
child; contrary to sec 1 of the Protection of Children and Prevention of
Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005 (asp 9).

[2] On 10 June 2010, at the conclusion of a separate trial for murder
(charge 2) and attempting to defeat the ends of justice (charge 3), each
appellant was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for the sexual offences,
concurrent with life sentences imposed in respect of the murder (see
sentence, paras 38 *et seq* ).

[3] Mr Lauchlan lodged a note of appeal, containing five grounds of appeal
in respect of the sexual offences, on 27 August 2010. Leave to appeal was
refused by
the judge at first sift but granted by the court at second sift in respect
of all grounds. Mr O’Neill lodged his note, containing very many grounds
and sub-grounds on a wide range of issues regarding all the charges, on 2
September 2010. Leave in respect of the sexual offences was refused at
first sift but granted by the court in respect of charge 7 only (ie not
charge 10). This prompted a lengthy application under sec 107(8) of the
Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (cap 46) (‘the 1995 Act’) to
reinstate other grounds, including many relating to the murder conviction.
A hearing was held on 8 November 2011. The application was granted in part
on 8 February 2012 ([2012] HCJAC 51 ) in respect of charge 10 but
otherwise, in relation to the murder, refused. An appeal to UK Supreme
Court, for which leave had been granted, was rejected ([2013] UKSC 36 ). A
date for a final appeal hearing was fixed for 6 February 2014. However, on
that date, only an appeal against the murder conviction was heard, with
submissions on the sexual offences and on the murder sentences to be heard
later. On 27 March 2014, the appeals against conviction in respect of the
murder were refused ([2014] HCJAC 22 ). The remaining elements in the
appeal proceeded to a hearing on 22 April 2014.

[4] At the commencement of the hearing, the court received a request from
G4S that Mr O’Neill be handcuffed because of information that he presented
a risk of absconding. Having heard his protestations against this, the
court acceded to the request. The court was then asked to excuse his
attendance on the basis that he did not want to be present if he was to be
handcuffed to one of the custody officers. It was not suggested that Mr
O’Neill would be in any way prejudiced by being handcuffed. The court did
not consider that there was any substantial reason to excuse his
attendance, given that he had already been brought from prison to the court
in terms of sec 117 of the 1995 Act. The appeal did raise matters affecting
his future and there were apparent advantages to him in being able to give
appropriate instructions, if required, to his legal representative. This
decision was met with a violent protest from Mr O’Neill, which in itself
suggested that the decision to handcuff him had been the correct one. The
court adjourned temporarily. On resuming, the court acceded to the motion
to excuse Mr O’Neill’s attendance given his disruptive conduct. The
appellant was entitled to be present, if he wished, at his appeal hearing
(1995 Act, sec 117(3)) but there is no requirement that he be so if, as in
this case, he did not wish to attend (* Manuel v HM Advocate * ). His legal
representative informed the court that he was fully instructed to present
the appeal.
Evidence
*Charge 5*

[5] The complainer A lived with his mother, [redacted]. He was nearly 1* at the time of the offence and had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (‘ADHD’), a hearing impairment and learning difficulties. He was of low average intelligence]. Mr O’Neill, who had taken
to visiting the complainer’s home in 2003, drugged the complainer, followed
him to his bedroom, pulled down his lower clothing and sodomised him as
libelled. This had been painful to the complainer. He had fallen asleep and
did not see the appellant again. The complainer’s mother recalled an
occasion when she had heard her son scream. She had gone up to his bedroom
and found the appellant emerging from it, explaining that he had got the
rooms mixed up. She found her son ‘a bit upset’. It was not suggested that
the mother’s evidence was itself sufficient to provide corroboration of the
facts libelled
and, in due course, the Crown relied on the principle of mutual
corroboration in connection with charge 7, and a further charge (charge 8)
of which the appellants had been acquitted, to supply the necessary
sufficiency.
*Charge 7*

[6] The appellants had been living in a camper van in Benidorm, Spain, in
2004, when they met the complainer B, aged 1*, and his older brother in a
bar. The complainer’s parents appeared to exercise little control over him.
The brothers visited the appellants in the van, where they were given
alcohol and offered drugs. After his brother had left, the appellants
detained the complainer in the van for several days during which he was
sexually assaulted as libelled. This included attempting to pull his
trousers down with a view to {assault redacted] him. He was eventually rescued by
the police. The complainer’s brother spoke to the visit to the van, being
propositioned by Mr Lauchlan and the highly distressed state of the
complainer upon his return home with the police. However, it was again not
suggested that this evidence was sufficient of itself. Mutual corroboration
by comparison with another offence was required.
*Charge 8*

[7] Both appellants had been charged that, between 10 December 2007 and 27
January 2008, at an hotel in Polmont and one in Blackpool, England, the
appellants had assaulted C, aged 17, a young man of limited intelligence,
by various indecent means and [Assault redacted] This was libelled as a single
crime taking place at two quite separate locations many miles apart. It was
explained that the libel had been based upon the account given by C to the
police whereby between these dates he had, on various occasions, been
subjected to the acts libelled. It was not suggested that there was a
continuing crime occurring. However, following the model in * Laird v HM
Advocate * , the Crown had libelled events in Scotland and England as if
the offences had consisted of a single crime of ‘sexual abuse’.

[8] No plea was taken to the competency of that part of the charge relating
to the occasions in Blackpool. However, contrary to the Crown’s
expectations, C did not speak to any criminal activity occurring in
Scotland. The only criminal conduct, which he did testify about, had
happened in Blackpool. It was not disputed that it would not have been
competent for the jury to try a libel which related only to events in
England. No motion was made by the Crown to delete that part of the libel
(ie Polmont) about which no evidence had been adduced. No plea of ‘no
jurisdiction’ was advanced. Rather the appellant made a ‘no case to answer’
submission in terms of sec 97(1) of the 1995 Act. This was not opposed by
the Crown. In terms of sec 97(2), the judge held that there was
insufficient evidence to prove the charge and accordingly formally
acquitted the appellants of this charge.
*Charge 10*

[9] C had been in a relationship with D, who was the mother of E, aged
six. E and D lived with D parents in Falkirk. The appellants took C,
D and E on a holiday trip to Peterhead, where they began indulging the
child. They contrived to sleep in the same room as the child. Mr O’Neill,
who was in a state of undress, cuddled the child, who was only in his
underpants. Intensive telephone contact
between the appellants and D followed. The appellants gave E a phone and
paid for credit on it. The appellants later travelled from Blackpool and,
having dropped D at her place of work, planned to spend the night with C
and E at the hotel in Polmont. This was prevented by D’s mother, but the
next day the appellants took E, D and C to visit Glasgow. Many
photographs of E were taken and retained by the appellants.

[10] The appellants managed to rearrange the stay at the Polmont Hotel. By
the morning, Mr O’Neill was in a bunk bed with E. The appellants later
took D and E on a trip in a camper van to the Lake District, during which
the appellants shared a bed with E. Many more photographs of E were
taken. There was a proposal for the four to go to Spain in the van. A
subsequent search of a room shared by the appellants at an hotel in
Blackpool discovered a pair of E’s underpants with Mr O’Neill’s semen on
them. There were toys and sweets and published accounts by the victims of
child abuse also found.
Grounds of appeal and submissions
* Lauchlan*
*Ground 1*

[11] The trial judge had erred in directing the jury that they could use
the evidence of C in respect of the assault and sodomy in Blackpool on
charge 8, of which the appellants had been acquitted, to corroborate the
evidence of B on charge 7. Having been acquitted of charge 8, the evidence
relating to it could not be used to bolster the evidence on the other
charges. It was not suggested that the Crown could never rely on evidence
in respect of a charge of which an accused had been formally acquitted.
That was done day and daily in respect of charges libelled for ‘evidential’
reasons; that is to say not for the purposes of obtaining a conviction on
the particular charge but to give fair notice of evidence to be led in
support of another charge (see, eg * McIntosh v HM Advocate * ; * Danskin v
HM Advocate * ; * HM Advocate v Mair * ). However, evidence on one charge
could not be used for the purpose of providing mutual corroboration of
another charge if the accused had been acquitted of the first charge (
* Danskin * , Lord Carloway, p 893; *cf** Urquhart v HM Advocate * ; * Dudgeon
v HM Advocate * ; * Moorov v HM Advocate * ; * Ogg v HM Advocate * ; *
Ainsworth v HM Advocate * ; * Walsh v HM Advocate * ; * Thomson v HM Advocate *
; and * Reid v HM Advocate * ). * Cannell v HM Advocate * had been wrongly decided in so far as Lady Paton, delivering the opinion of the court, had stated (para
37) that evidence in respect of a charge of which an accused had been
acquitted could be used as mutual corroboration and (para 34 obiter) that
evidence of an offence over which there was no jurisdiction could be so
used (* M v HM Advocate * ).
*Ground 2*

[12] There was insufficient similarity in time, place and circumstances for
mutual corroboration to apply. There had been a considerable lapse in time
between the offences in charges 7 and 8 (* Dodds v HM Advocate * ; * Sinder
v HM Advocate * ). The loci were quite different. The abduction of a person
aged under 16 followed by non-consensual sexual conduct was entirely
different from conduct with an adult (*sic* ) who was able to consent to
such conduct. Only one of the offences involved penetration. Only one had
necessitated police intervention. It was not enough that both charges
involved sexual conduct.
*Ground 3*

[13] No jury properly directed could have convicted in these circumstances.
This followed from the previous two grounds.
*Ground 4*

[14] If the jury were entitled to consider the evidence pointing to the
guilt of the appellant on charge 8, they ought to have been directed on the
issue of consent, in terms of the appellant’s special defence to that
charge. The trial judge had directed the jury that there was no issue of
consent. That may have been true regarding charge 7, where the complainer
was under 16, but it was not true in respect of charge 8. The trial judge
had erred in telling the jury that ‘strictly speaking the special defence
was no longer an issue’. He ought to have directed the jury to consider the
evidence on charge 8 as potentially mutually corroborative only if they
held that the complainer had not consented.
*Ground 5*

[15] The appeal concerning charge 10 was not insisted upon.
*O’Neill*

[16] The submission of Mr Lauchlan in relation to the mutual corroboration
of charge 7 by the evidence on charge 8 was adopted and expanded to
encompass charge 5. In addition, evidence of a charge in Scotland could not
be corroborated by evidence of similar acts in England or elsewhere in the
United Kingdom, since such acts were not triable in Scotland.

[17] Furthermore, where an accused had been acquitted of a charge, it was
contrary to Art 6(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms for the Crown to continue to maintain that the
appellants were guilty of a charge in circumstances where they had been
acquitted. Such an act ran contrary to the presumption of innocence, no
matter what the reason for the acquittal might have been (* Sekanina v
Austria * ; * Rushiti v Austria * ; * Lamanna v Austria * ; * Allenet de
Ribemont v France * ; * Geerings v Netherlands * ).

[18] That part of the ground of appeal directed against the conviction on
charge 10 was not insisted upon.
*Crown*

[19] Evidence in relation to a crime which did not form part of a
substantive charge, because the crime was not within the jurisdiction of
the Scottish courts to try, could be used as corroboration of a crime
within that jurisdiction if there were the requisite conventional
similarities in time, place and circumstances (* Dumoulin v HM
Advocate * ; * HM
Advocate v Joseph * ; * Cannell v HM Advocate * , paras 34, 35; *cf* Crown
Office response to the Scottish Law Commission, *Similar Fact Evidence and
the Moorov Doctrine* (no 229), para 6.59). Furthermore, evidence adduced on
a charge of which an accused has been acquitted does remain available in
the jury’s consideration of other charges (* McIntosh v HM Advocate *
; * Urquhart
v HM Advocate * ; * Cannell * ; * HM Advocate v Mair * ). Cannell was
correct in stating that an offence furth of Scotland may be narrated in an
indictment. The court in * M v HM Advocate * had not been fully addressed
on the authorities.

[20] There was sufficient similarity between the charges for the jury to
hold that mutual corroboration applied (* Reynolds v HM Advocate * ; * W v
HM Advocate * ). Longer periods have been held sufficient (* Cannell v HM
Advocate * ; * Hussain v HM Advocate * ; * AK v HM Advocate * ).

[21] The European cases did not prohibit the use of evidence on one charge
being used in the manner adopted. They prohibited the Crown suggesting that
the person was guilty of a crime of which he had been acquitted. That is
not what had occurred here.

[22] The judge had made it clear that the charge 8 evidence was only
available for the purposes of corroborating the evidence on charge 7. The
complainer in charge 8 did not accept that he had consented to the [assault].
The direction on the special defence was therefore correct.
Decision

[23] The problem, which arose in relation to the use of the evidence on
charge 8 to corroborate charge 7, stems partly from the form of the libel
and partly from the manner in which it was ultimately dealt with. Put
shortly, a court cannot acquit a person of a charge over which it has no
jurisdiction.

[24] It is, of course, competent to libel events, including criminal acts,
occurring in a foreign jurisdiction in a Scottish indictment. That is
apparent from Macdonald, *The Criminal Law of Scotland* (p 222), where it
is said:

‘Where a *crimen continuum* is committed partly in Scotland and partly in
another country, it is not a good objection to the indictment that the
*locus* of some of the acts done in carrying out the offence is set forth
as being in the other country (John Mackay (1866) 5 Irv 329; Will E
Bradbury (1872) 2 Couper 311), and evidence may be led in support of such
acts as bearing on the substantive crime charged (Ernest Joseph …).’

* HM Advocate v Joseph * is a classic example of a continuing crime; being
a fraudulent scheme for obtaining money from the public in Scotland by
various steps, some taking place in Scotland but others in London and
Brussels. * Laird v HM Advocate * involved a scheme to obtain money from a
company in London by various material acts committed in Scotland. This too
is competent, but these are both examples of a *crimen continuum* .

[25] Similar considerations applied in * Dumoulin v HM Advocate * where,
although different elements were made the subject of separate numbered
paragraphs, the indictment was framed under an umbrella narrative libelling
a scheme to obtain insurance monies by fraud; the method being by carrying
out certain transactions in Germany which resulted in the deposit of funds
in Edinburgh, taking out a life insurance policy and murdering the person
insured. It so transpired that the Crown failed to prove that the events in
Germany were linked to the crimes in Scotland, but the Lord Justice-General
(Emslie) set out the relevant principles as follows (p 42):

‘It is not in dispute that it is incompetent to charge, and to lead
evidence about a criminal offence committed in a foreign jurisdiction
unless that criminal offence forms an integral part of the crime which is
libelled as having taken place in Scotland or unless the nexus between the
offence abroad and the crime in Scotland is sufficiently close, *ex facie*
of the indictment, as to make it relevant to prove the offence abroad in
course of proof of the crime in Scotland. In short, the competency of
libelling and admitting evidence about the fraudulent transactions in
Germany depends essentially on whether, considering the
indictment as a whole, these transactions are *prima facie* relevant to
proof of the crimes which, according to the indictment, were committed in
Scotland.’

[26] The Lord Justice-General is not to be taken as stating that every
crime committed abroad can be tried through to a verdict in Scotland just
because the evidence about it might provide corroboration of evidence of a
crime in Scotland. Rather, he is restating the principle outlined in
Macdonald about a continuing crime. This is not the same as a course of
conduct involving quite separate crimes; hence the emphasis on the form of
indictment rather than the evidential basis for the charges. That having
been said, if evidence of a crime committed outwith Scotland is capable of
corroborating evidence of a crime committed in Scotland (see *infra* ) the
Crown would require to give notice of that extra-territorial event, either
by including it as a charge in the libel (as here) or by narrative in a
separate docquet (see * Nelson v HM Advocate * , Lord Justice-General
(Hope), p 101; * HM Advocate v Cairns * ).

[27] If the Crown maintain that evidence of facts, which could constitute a
separate crime, is relevant to prove another, usually more serious, crime,
then they can libel that subsidiary crime for evidential reasons (* Griffen
v HM Advocate * , Lord Justice-Clerk (Aitchison), p 5, following * HM
Advocate v Monson * , Lord Justice-Clerk (Macdonald), p 8). That is so even
if the charge is actually incompetent for some reason (* McIntosh v HM
Advocate * , Lord Justice-Clerk (Ross), pp 501, 502). Evidence can be
adduced in respect of the subsidiary charge, even if the Crown cannot seek
a conviction in respect of it (* McIntosh * ) or decide not to do so for
reasons of pragmatism (* Danskin v HM Advocate * , Lord Carloway,
delivering the opinion of the court, p 893). Such evidence will remain for
the jury’s consideration on the principal charge (* HM Advocate v Mair * ,
Lord Justice-Clerk (Carloway), delivering the opinion of the court, para 9).

[28] It is correct to say that, if charges are remitted to the jury for
consideration and they acquit of one charge because, it appears, they have
rejected the evidence upon it as incredible or unreliable, it will often be
inconsistent for the jury to return a verdict of guilty in respect of
another charge which depends, for a sufficiency, on the evidence of the
first being held to be credible and reliable (* Ogg v HM Advocate * , Lord
Justice-Clerk (Aitchison), p 157; * Ainsworth v HM Advocate * , Lord
Justice-General (Hope), p 57; * Danskin v HM Advocate * ). However, there
is no such inconsistency in this case.

[29] The libel is intended to provide fair notice to an accused of the
evidence to be led against him. Once that evidence has been put before the
jury, it is available as proof of fact so far as that is competent, and
irrespective of whether the libel, whose notice permitted the admission of
the testimony, remains before the jury when it retires to consider its
verdicts and (excepting the case of inconsistency) whether or not an
acquittal on that charge follows. That is clear from the *ratio* in * Cannell
v HM Advocate * in which the jury were directed (probably erroneously) to
acquit of both alternatives in a particular charge, because of a failure to
prove the precise age of the complainer, yet were permitted (correctly) to
use the evidence on that charge to provide mutual corroboration of another
charge. The court’s *obiter dictum* to the effect that evidence of a crime
committed in England, as part of a course of conduct, could be adduced
(subject to fair notice being given) to prove crimes committed in Scotland
as part of that same course is correct and is directly applicable to the
present case. The court does not share the doubts expressed in * M v HM
Advocate * .

[30] If an accused person maintains that a court has no jurisdiction to try
a charge, or part of a charge, it is incumbent upon him to tender such a
plea by lodging the appropriate notice in advance of the preliminary
hearing or first diet (1995 Act, secs 71(2), 72(3), 79(2)(a)(i)) or
alternatively to seek the leave of the court to raise the matter late (1995
Act, sec 79(1)). This was not done here and, in the circumstances, unless
the court wished to raise the matter *ex proprio motu* , it ought to have
been assumed that the court did have jurisdiction to try the whole libel in
charge 8, albeit that the only *locus* came to be that of Blackpool. If a
lack of jurisdiction point is taken, the correct remedy (if the point is
sound) is for the Crown or the court to desert the diet *pro loco et
tempore* as regards that charge, or part of it; thus leaving the matter
open for competent prosecution in the correct jurisdiction. Ideally, the
Crown ought to have amended the charge at the close of their case so as to
leave only *loci* about which evidence had been led. What is not competent
is for the court to rule on the merits of a charge, or part of a charge,
over which it has accepted it has no jurisdiction. In particular, sec 97 of
the 1995 Act is not a vehicle within which to raise a ‘no jurisdiction’
point. That section is purely concerned about the sufficiency of evidence
to support a charge, wherever it is libelled to have taken place, and not
the competency of that charge.

[31] The acquittal on charge 8 was thus, so far as the events in Blackpool
are concerned, an error. Nevertheless, the evidence of indecent assaults
and sodomy in England, which could properly have been libelled in any
event, whether as a charge or otherwise, remained available to provide
corroboration of a crime libelled as being committed in Scotland. The
appeal on this ground (Mr Lauchlan’s ground 1) must therefore be refused.

[32] In * MR v HM Advocate * (Lord Justice-Clerk (Carloway), para 19), the
Full Bench followed the *dictum* in * McMahon v HM Advocate * (Lord
Justice-General (Hope), p 1142) that, in deciding whether mutual
corroboration can apply as between two or more charges, the court requires
to look not at the labels attached to the individual acts in the indictment
but to the ‘underlying similarity in the conduct described in the
evidence’. The court looks to see whether the ‘conventional similarities in
time, place and circumstances in the behaviour proved [are] such as
demonstrate that the individual incidents are component parts of one course
of criminal conduct persistently pursued by the accused’ (* MR * , para
19). Whether these similarities exist will often be a question of fact and
degree requiring, in a solemn case, assessment by the jury (*ibid* ).

[33] Distilling the submissions of the parties, the appellants found upon
what are said to be potentially significant differences between the facts
as potentially established in the evidence on the three (O’Neill) or two (
Lauchlan) charges, whereas the Crown found upon the similarities. At one
end of the spectrum, it is correct to say that the fact that there is
sexual conduct in each charge is not enough. At the other, the fact that
some of the charges involve penetrative sex and others do not cannot be
regarded as decisive.

[34] The significant features of similarity in the crimes start first with
the fact that, in respect of charges 7 and 8, two persons were involved as
perpetrators of sexual acts on a single individual. This is unusual,
although by no means unknown. Secondly, in all of the charges (charges 5, 7
and 8), the acts are homosexual in nature and are perpetrated against young
vulnerable males. In that regard the range of the complainers’ ages,
between 14 and 17, is a narrow one. Thirdly, in each charge there is either
actual or attempted sodomy. Fourthly, in charges 5 and 7 there is the
involvement of drugs. There are other similarities and, especially in time
and place, dissimilarities, but the reality is that the jury were entitled to hold
that the necessary underlying similarity was present and to rely on each
episode, involving one of the appellants, as corroborating the other
episode, involving the same appellant. This ground of appeal ( Lauchlan,
ground 2; O’Neill, ground 4) must accordingly fail. It follows also that
the contention that no reasonable jury could have convicted on the basis of
the evidence in respect of the two charges ( Lauchlan, ground 3) must be
rejected.

[35] There is no breach of Art 6(2) by reason of the evidence on charge 8
being advanced by the Crown in the one single criminal process as proof of
charge 7. As already narrated, on any view, the acquittal on charge 8 in
respect of the Blackpool events was itself an error; being incompetent
standing the lack of jurisdiction. As was said in * HM Advocate v Mair *
(Lord Justice-Clerk (Carloway), delivering the opinion of the court, para
9), at the point of seeking a conviction on charge 7, all that the Crown
were asserting was that the appellants had committed what the appellants
had had notice of in charge 8, albeit that, by the time the Crown addressed
the jury, a conviction could not follow upon that charge for technical
reasons. The Crown contention had been consistent throughout the
proceedings and no party could reasonably have thought that the sec 97
acquittal, or indeed an acquittal following upon a pragmatic withdrawal of
that charge, could have had the effect of barring the Crown from relying on
the evidence on charge 8 as mutual corroboration of a charge awaiting
judicial determination.

[36] As the European Court said in * Sekanina v Austria * (paras 28, 30),
there is a distinction to be drawn between cases where there has been a
decision on the merits of an allegation and one where there has not. In the
former, it is not open to the state to assert the guilt of a person whose
innocence has been established. That is not what, in reality, occurred in
this case. The appellants were not acquitted of the Blackpool element in
charge 8 as a result of a decision on its merits but because the court
considered that it had no jurisdiction to try the matter. The
situation (* Sekanina
v Austria * ; * Rushiti v Austria * ; * Lamanna v Austria * ; * Allenet de
Ribemont v France * ; * Geerings v Netherlands * ) where there is an
assertion of guilt in a separate process in circumstances in which that
guilt has not been properly established, or has even been rejected, in a
criminal court is not in any event analogous. This separate argument
advanced by Mr O’Neill must be rejected.

[37] The trial judge’s directions on charge 8 cannot be faulted. By the
time he came to his charge, the jury were not going to be asked to return a
verdict on charge 8. The special defence therefore ceased to have any
bearing on the issue and reiterating the standard directions on the effect
of a special defence could have served only to confuse. What the judge did
do was direct the jury clearly on the need to believe a particular
complainer before they could use his evidence as mutually corroborative of
the testimony of another complainer in respect of the actings of the same
accused. He directed the jury with equal clarity on the need for them to
find the necessary similarities in, as he put it, the character,
circumstances and time of each offence. In particular, in respect of Mr
Lauchlan, he said that he could only be convicted if the jury accepted, as
credible and reliable, the evidence of both B and C. He gave a similar
direction in respect of Mr O’Neill and the evidence of A and B. He
reminded the jury in particular of the speech made on Mr Lauchlan’s behalf,
which had focused on the absence of similarity between what had happened to
B and what had occurred with C given the elements in C’s evidence which
described some consensual sexual acts. These were sufficient directions in
the circumstances. It follows from the jury’s verdict that they must have
accepted JG’s account of non-consensual acts and found them sufficiently similar to those libelled in charge 7.
Seen in that light, the reasoning of the jury is clear. The appeals against
conviction are refused.
Sentence
*Circumstances*

[38] As already observed, the appellants were convicted of two further
offences, including murder. These were, as follows:

‘(2) on 21 June 1997 at … Waterside Street, Largs or elsewhere … you …
having …engaged in criminal activity with F…then aged between 9 and 13
years, and knowing that [Mrs McG], his mother then residing there, was
aware of such activity and believing that she intended to report such
activity to the authorities, did detain her against her will within said
house … and thereafter assault [Mrs McG] seize hold of her neck, compress
her throat and did murder her and you did previously evince malice and
ill-will towards [her];

(3) … having committed the crime libelled in charge (2) … and being
conscious of your guilt … you … did (a) remove the body of [Mrs McG], … ;
(b) transport said body to Largs beach and conceal same under rocks there;
(c) thereafter recover said body and deposit same in a bin or similar
container and transport same onto a boat; and (d) deposit said bin or
similar container and the body of [Mrs McG] into the sea, and this you did
with intent to conceal or destroy evidence in respect of said crime and
with intent to defeat the ends of justice and you did attempt to defeat the
ends of justice.’

[39] The trial judge reports that the background to the murder lay in the
breakdown of Mrs McG’s marriage in or about 1994. Mrs McG had thereafter
lived in Rothesay along with two of the children, including F. In his
early teens, F became involved in criminal activities and was taken into
care for some time. By 1997 F was living with his father in Glasgow, but
visiting his mother on Saturdays. Mrs McG was a highly vulnerable woman, of
low intelligence, with longstanding and persistent lifestyle difficulties.
She tended to exist from week to week, but she nevertheless cared deeply
for her children.

[40] F was also vulnerable. He had become unruly after the breakdown of
his parents’ marriage. While he was staying with his mother in Rothesay,
F came into contact with the appellants. He began to spend most of his
time with them. They allowed him considerable freedom and indulged him with
money, drink and presents. F regarded them as his heroes. He had
effectively been groomed by the appellants and then sexually abused by
them. This abuse extended to [assault redacted], which F regarded as normal
at the time. In June 1997 F persuaded his mother that they should move
into the appellants’ flat in Largs, rather than F returning to his
father’s home in Glasgow.

[41] In due course, Mrs McG found out about the sexual abuse of her son.
The appellants became increasingly concerned that she might report them to
the police. They discussed ‘getting rid of her’. In particular, F
referred to an incident when Mr O’Neill had told him this.

[42] During the evening of 20 June 1997 an argument broke out in the flat.
Mrs McG wanted to leave, but was prevented from doing so by one of the
appellants. A visitor to the flat overheard Mrs McG shouting to the
appellants words to the effect that they were ‘a fucking pair of poofters;
I know what yous are up to; I’ll see you get what’s coming to you’. After
Mrs McG had gone to bed, F overheard the appellants discussing getting
rid of her.

[43] Between 1.00 am and 1.30 am the landline in the flat was used to call
one of the appellants’ mobile phones. The inference from this was that one
of them had left the flat in the early hours of the morning and was in
contact with the other. By the morning, Mrs McG had disappeared. The
visitor had called again and found neither appellant at the flat. Their car
was also missing. When they returned, the visitor asked them what had
happened to Mrs McG. They had replied that they had woken up at 5.00 am and
found the door wide open and Mrs McG gone. That same morning, F had
noticed that the appellants’ car had been moved from its usual position and
that the appellants were up and dressed, in the kitchen, mumbling to one
another. They had told him that his mother had ‘fucked off’ and that they
did not know where she had gone. The appellants gave him different stories
about her going to either Rothesay or to Jersey.

[44] During the course of the many years which passed after Mrs McG’s
disappearance, the appellants made certain remarks to others which
suggested that they had killed Mrs McG and dumped her at sea. One witness
said that Mr O’Neill had actually admitted on many occasions that he had
killed Mrs McG and that she was now ‘feeding the fishes’ in the Firth of
Clyde. The motive for this had been that she was a ‘grassing bastard’. Mr
Lauchlan had been present when these remarks were made. Another witness
said that, while in Benidorm, Mr Lauchlan had told him that a woman, who
had been going to be a witness against them, had been taken out in a boat
and fed to the fish.

[45] Each appellant had previous convictions. They had both been convicted
in 1998 of the abuse of F. Mr O’Neill had been sentenced to eight years’
imprisonment and Mr Lauchlan to six years. Having been released from these
sentences, they had both breached the restrictions under which they were
being supervised and were sentenced, in 2003 and 2005 and after an appeal,
to 18 months’ imprisonment.

[46] The trial judge took the view that, based on the evidence led at the
two trials, both appellants were ‘dangerous and determined predatory
paedophiles’ and that they represented a ‘high risk to the safety of the
public, particularly young men and boys (especially those suffering from
some form of vulnerability)’. He took into account, in particular, the
apparent motive for the murder and its callous and depraved nature. He
referred to the lengths, which the appellants must have gone to, to cover
up the deed. The trial judge proceeded to sentence them on the footing that
they were ‘highly ruthless and unrepentant individuals with no respect for
the law or the values of a civilised society’. Having been unable to
identify any mitigating circumstances, he imposed a punishment part of 26
years in respect of Mr Lauchlan and 30 years in respect of Mr O’Neill. The
greater sentence in Mr O’Neill’s case was because he had been convicted of
the additional charge (charge 5) and was regarded as the more dominant
personality.
*Submissions*

[47] It was submitted by Mr Lauchlan that the level of the punishment part
was excessive for the less dominant of the participants. It was accepted
that the trial judge had heard all the evidence, including extensive
testimony from both appellants. He had been entitled to form a view based
upon his impressions of their actions and character. Nevertheless, the
period selected was too long.

[48] Mr O’Neill’s submission focused first on the statutory provisions
prevailing at the time of the murder, which occurred prior to the coming
into force of the amendments to sec 2 of the Prisoners and Criminal
Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993
(cap 9) applicable to non-discretionary life sentences. This argument,
which was not a ground of appeal, appeared to be suggesting (although the
matter was not fully developed) that a different sentencing regime existed
from that now in force. Section 2 of the 1993 Act referred to a punishment
part being fixed only having regard to the seriousness of the offence,
combined with any other offence associated with it, and the person’s
previous convictions. The current form of the legislation referred to a
combination with other offences of which the person was convicted on the
same indictment (see * Cameron v HM Advocate * ; *cf** Chalmers v HM
Advocate (No 1) * ).

[49] It was significant that there was no known cause of death. The
sentences were excessive having regard to the punishment parts in * Walker
v HM Advocate * , * HM Advocate v Boyle * , * Smith v HM Advocate *
and * Jakovlev
v HM Advocate * .

[50] Although delay between the murder and the sentences had featured in
both appellants’ notes of appeal, this was not advanced at the appeal
hearing, presumably because of the trial judge’s explanation in his reports.
Decision

[51] The requirement for fixing punishment parts for non-discretionary life
sentences was introduced by the Convention Rights Compliance (Scotland) Act
2001 (asp 7) by way of amendment to sec 2 of the Prisoners and Criminal
Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993. The statutory formula in respect of such
sentences has always been that the punishment part must be such as
satisfies the requirements for retribution and deterrence, taking into
account:

1.

‘(a) the seriousness of the offence, or of the offence combined with
other offences of which the life prisoner is convicted on the same
indictment as that offence; …
2.

(b) any previous convictions of the life prisoner’.

These provisions applied in practical terms to mandatory life prisoners,
whether the murder was committed before or after the 2001 Act came into
force (see sch, Pt 1).

[52] Immediately after the 2001 Act, there was a requirement on the courts
to fix punishment parts for a large number of persons convicted of murder.
Many of these persons had already served sentences in excess of the
punishment periods subsequently fixed. Some of the cases involved the most
heinous of crimes committed in Scotland over the last two generations.
In * Walker
v HM Advocate * a punishment part of 30 years was initially selected in
respect of the pre-meditated murder of three soldiers by a person who had
himself been a soldier. In a not dissimilar case involving a former
policeman killing two officers in the course of a bank robbery,25 years was
imposed at first instance (* HM Advocate v Wilson * ; see Walker). The same
level was selected for one of the Carstairs murderers (* HM Advocate v
Mone * ; see Walker).

[53] Walker’s sentence was reduced to 27 years on appeal. The then Lord
Justice-General (Cullen) (para 8) expressed the view that, in cases which
he described as of ‘such gravity’, including the murder of a child or a
policeman in the execution of his duty, a punishment part of 20 years might
be selected, although there might be a ‘relatively few’ cases requiring a
level ‘substantially in excess’ of that figure. On the basis of that
*dictum* , 30 years was seen as a maximum, even for the most grave of
cases. This was reflected in the selection of 27 years for the Lockerbie
bomber (* HM Advocate v Megrahi * ) whose actions had killed 270 people. It
may also be seen as influential on the reduction from 30 to 20 years of the
punishment part in * McMurray v HM Advocate (No 2) * , in which the
appellant had committed a premeditated triple murder.

[54] However, as was explained in * Smith v HM Advocate * (Lord Carloway,
para 15) that sentencing regime was effectively disapproved in * HM
Advocate v Boyle * , in which the then Lord Justice-General (Hamilton)
(para 13) expressed the view that punishment parts of more than 30 years
may be appropriate in cases of mass murder. Although it was said that 20
years might still be seen as appropriate for the grave examples given
in * Walker
v HM Advocate * , the starting points for the punishment parts actually
selected in Boyle were in the range of 18 to 22 years, the latter for the
murder of a 64-year-old woman. * Smith * itself involved a punishment part
of 35 years, as a starting point, for the murder of a mother and young
child against an immediate background of sadistic and sexual depravity.
This was not reduced upon appeal. Similar observations on the limitations
of using Walker as authority in the modern era were made in * Jakovlev v HM
Advocate * (Lord Hardie, para 10).

[55] Each case must be determined upon its own facts. However, there are
several circumstances in this case that take it well outside the norm, if
there be a norm in murder cases. The first is that the appellants were
previously convicted of significant predatory sexual assaults on the
vulnerable young son of Mrs McG for which they received substantial periods
of incarceration both upon conviction and upon breaching their terms of
supervision. Secondly, they were also convicted on this indictment of a
range of further predatory sexual assaults on vulnerable boys or young men
and of planning to involve a child aged only six in their nefarious
activities. Thirdly, looking at the murder itself, the libel of which
established the cause of death as some form of strangulation, the motive
was to avoid criminal prosecution. Fourthly, the victim was yet another
vulnerable person. Fifthly, the appellants took significant and successful
steps to dispose of the body, by depositing it in the waters of the Firth
of Clyde from where it will probably never be recovered. Against that
background, the court is quite unable to classify the punishment parts
selected by the trial judge as excessive and the appeals against sentence
are accordingly also refused.

The Court refused the appeals.

Capital Defence Lawyers *(for Fitzpatrick & Co, Glasgow)*–McClure
Collins , *Glasgow
– Crown Agent*

No 4
COURT OF JUSTICIARY
27 March 2014
[2014] HCJAC 22

Lady Paton , Lady Clark of Calton and Lord Philip
William Hugh Lauchlan , First

appellant—
G Jackson *QC*
Charles Bernard O’Neill , Second

appellant—
J Carroll *(Solicitor-advocate)*
Her Majesty’s Advocate ,

Respondent—
DR Bain *QC, A-D*

Justiciary — Criminal procedure — Trial — Fairness — Question put to police
officer by trial judge and not objected to by defence — Whether trial judge
entitled to ask question — Whether trial judge misdirected jury in respect
of accession after the fact — Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (cap
46), sec 118(8)

Section 118(8) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (cap 46) (‘the
1995 Act’) provides, *inter alia* , that no conviction, sentence, or
judgment of court shall be quashed for want of form or where an accused had
legal assistance in his defence suspended or set aside in respect of any
objections to the relevancy of the indictment or want of specification
therein or the competency or admission or rejection of evidence at the
trial in the inferior court unless such objections were timeously stated.

On 10 June 2010 the appellants were found guilty of the murder of a woman
on 21 June 1997, and of a subsequent attempt between 21 June and 1
September 1997 to defeat the ends of justice by disposing of her body at
sea. On 17 September 1998 the appellants were detained on suspicion of
conspiracy to murder, taken to a police station and interviewed at length.
They were both asked directly whether they had killed the deceased. Neither
appellant answered any of the questions put to them. The appellants were
not arrested or charged at the conclusion of their interviews. On 5
November 1998 a missing person investigation into the disappearance of the
deceased was scaled down due to lack of progress. In June 2002 the police
were still seeking evidence by means of press releases. In August 2003 the
police received hearsay information to the effect that the appellants had
killed the deceased and disposed of her remains at sea. That led to further
inquiries. On 5 April 2005 the appellants were charged with the murder of
the deceased and with concealing and disposing of her body in an attempt to
pervert the course of justice and appeared on petition in the sheriff court
when they were committed for further examination and remanded in custody.
On 10 September 2008 they were served with an indictment which also
contained a number of charges of or relating to sexual offences against
children. On 17 July 2009 after a preliminary hearing a judge ordered that
the murder charges were to be separated from the sexual offences charges.
The trial on the sexual offences charges took place before a judge and jury
between 26 April and 12 May 2010. Following the appellants’ conviction on
the sexual offences charges, sentence was deferred and their trial on the
murder charges took place between 17 May and 10 June 2010 before the same
judge but with a different jury.

Evidence led at the murder trial included evidence of a circumstantial
nature and to the effect that on the night the deceased disappeared, she
had been locked in a flat occupied by the appellants and that after she had
gone to bed the appellants had been overheard talking about getting rid of
her and cutting her up. Telephone calls were made that night between a
landline phone in the flat and the mobile phone which the two appellants
used. The following morning the deceased was not in the flat, nor were the
appellants, but they returned with their car later in the morning. The
appellants stated at that time to other individuals that the deceased had
gone and they did not know where. The Crown case at trial was that the
deceased had disappeared that night and was never seen again. She was a
vulnerable woman of low intelligence who was very close to her family but
had no contact with them after that night, her mail remained uncollected at
her flat and she did not claim benefits in her name
after that date. The police gave evidence of unsuccessful enquiries made in
an attempt to trace her. The Crown also led evidence that the appellants
had access to a boat and of several incriminating statements made by the
appellants. The Crown case was that the appellants had acted in concert to
murder the deceased and disposed of her body at sea. Evidence was led from
a detective constable who had been involved in the initial missing persons
inquiry and the investigations leading to a proof of life report. Following
cross-examination of him on behalf of one of the appellants and prior to
cross-examination on behalf of the other appellant, the trial judge asked
the officer, “As a result of the investigation which you have set out for
us, did you come to any conclusion?” The officer replied that he had
concluded that the deceased was no longer alive.

On 10 June 2010 the appellants were found guilty and were sentenced to life
imprisonment for the murder, with punishment parts of 26 and 30 years
respectively, and to concurrent sentences of eight years’ imprisonment for
attempting to defeat the ends of justice. The appellants were also
sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for the sexual offences, to be served
concurrently.

The appellants appealed to the High Court of Justiciary but were refused
leave to appeal on certain of the grounds. The appellants then appealed
with leave to the UK Supreme Court. On 13 June 2013, the appeal to the
Supreme Court was refused ([2013] UKSC 36 ). The appeals against conviction
in respect of the murder came before the High Court of Justiciary for a
hearing on 6 February 2014.

Senior counsel for the first appellant submitted that the trial judge had
erred in eliciting prejudicial and irrelevant material in asking the
question of the detective constable that he did. The officer’s opinion and
conclusion were inadmissible. He was not an expert who could or should give
opinion evidence on the question of whether or not the victim was in fact
dead. It was for the jury to reach a conclusion on that issue. The question
put to the officer usurped the function of the jury and had caused a
miscarriage of justice. The trial judge had failed to give a proper
direction to the jury on the concept of being an accessory after the fact
in relation to the murder charge. The jury should have been told that if
they were not satisfied that the first appellant was involved in the murder
itself but was involved in the disposal of the body they must acquit on the
murder charge. The failure to give a clear direction on this led to a
miscarriage of justice.

The solicitor-advocate for the second appellant adopted the submissions for
the first appellant in relation to the question put by the trial judge to
the police officer.

The Advocate-depute for the Crown submitted that objection should have been
taken at the time the question was put by the judge. The evidence elicited
was admissible, the officer having been involved in the inquiry about the
victim, having years of experience as a police officer, having given
reasons for his opinion and in any event any individual’s opinion on the
issue of whether the victim was alive or not would have been admissible.
There was no miscarriage of justice in any event, as the trial judge had
made it clear in his charge to the jury that it was for them to decide on
the basis of the whole evidence whether or not the victim was dead. The
circumstantial evidence strongly demonstrated that the victim was deceased
quite independently of the police officer’s personal view. The trial judge
had given clear directions on concert and the jury knew that the first
appellant had to have been acting along with the second appellant at the
time of the murder to be guilty of the murder.

*Held* that: (1) the police officer concerned had become particularly
knowledgeable about the victim, acquiring extensive knowledge about her,
more comprehensive than that available to others in the course of the
inquiry, such that the jury were entitled to know what he personally
thought about whether or not she was alive and to make of it what they
would, the judge was entitled to ask the question he did and the evidence
elicited was admissible (paras 32–34); (2) the Crown had established a
strong circumstantial case against the appellants, the trial judge had
given fair and balanced directions in his charge to the jury, there was
therefore no real possibility had the question to the police
officer not been put and answered that the jury might have reached a
different verdict and accordingly no miscarriage of justice occurred (paras
38, 39); (3) the judge gave clear and accurate directions on concert,
approving and endorsing the defence speech on behalf of the first appellant
to the effect that Scots law did not recognise the concept of being guilty
of a crime merely because someone has become an accessory after the fact or
anything of that nature, there was therefore no miscarriage of justice in
that respect (paras 42, 43); and appeals *refused* .

*Observed* that a question put by a judge could be objected to and the
objection relied upon by the defence on appeal, even if the question had
been answered, thus avoiding the effect of sec 118(8) of the 1995 Act (para
36).

* Wyngrove’s Exrx v Scottish Omnibuses Ltd * 1966 SC (HL) 47 and * Hewat v
Corporation of the City of Edinburgh *1944 SC 30*discussed* and * McFadden
v HM Advocate *2009 SCCR 902*approved* .

William Hugh Lauchlan and Charles Bernard O’Neill were charged on an
indictment at the instance of Her Majesty’s Advocate, the libel of which
set forth 15 charges of or relating to sexual offences against children and
three charges relating to the murder of a woman and an attempt to defeat
the ends of justice by disposing of her body at sea. They pled not guilty.
After a preliminary hearing, on 17 July 2009, a judge (Lord Kinclaven)
ordered that the murder charges were to be separated from the sexual
offences charges. The trial on the sexual offences charges took place
before a judge (Lord Pentland) and jury between 26 April and 12 May 2010.
On 12 May 2010 the appellants were convicted of certain of those charges.
Lord Pentland made orders under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (cap 42), and
deferred sentence pending the trial on the murder charges. That trial took
place between 17 May and 10 June 2010 before Lord Pentland and a different
jury. On 10 June 2010 the appellants were convicted. They were sentenced to
life imprisonment for the murder, with punishment parts of 26 and 30 years
respectively, and to concurrent sentences of eight years’ imprisonment for
attempting to defeat the ends of justice. The appellants were also
sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for the sexual offences, to be served
concurrently.

The appellants appealed against conviction and sentence to the High Court
of Justiciary. Only certain grounds of appeal passed the sift, all as set
out in the opinion of the court (para 16).
*Cases referred to:*

* Gage v HM Advocate * [2011] HCJAC 40 ; 2012 SCCR 161 ; 2011 SCL 645 ; 2011
GWD 15–362

* Hewat v Corporation of the City of Edinburgh * 1944 SC 30 ; 1944 SLT 193

* McFadden v HM Advocate * [2009] HCJAC 78 ; 2009 SCCR 902 ; 2010 SCL
247 ; 2009
GWD 33–552

* White v HM Advocate * 1986 SCCR 224

* Wyngrove’s Exrx v Scottish Omnibuses Ltd * 1966 SC (HL) 47 ; 1966 SLT 273
*Textbooks etc referred to:*

Macphail, ID, *Evidence: A revised version of a research paper on the law
of evidence in Scotland* (Law Society of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1987), para
17.02

Walker, AG, and Walker, NML, *The Law of Evidence in Scotland* (2nd Ross
and Chalmers ed, T & T Clark, Edinburgh, 2000), para 16.2

The appeals against conviction in respect of the murder came before the
High Court of Justiciary, comprising Lady Paton, Lady Clark of Calton and
Lord Philip, for a hearing, on 6 February 2014.

At advising, on 27 March 2014, the opinion of the Court was delivered by
Lady Paton—
Opinion of the Court—
Introduction

[1] On 10 June 2010, in Glasgow High Court, the appellants were found
guilty by majority verdicts of the following offences:

‘(2) on 21 June 1997 at [a flat in] Largs … you … having between 23 June
1994 and 21 June 1997 engaged in criminal sexual activity with [R] … then
aged between 9 and 13 years, and knowing that [Mrs McG] his mother then
residing there, was aware of such activity and believing that she intended
to report such activity to the authorities did detain her against her will
within said house … and thereafter assault said [Mrs McG], seize hold of
her neck, compress her throat and did murder her and you did previously
evince malice and ill will towards said [Mrs McG];

(3) between 21 June 1997 and 1 September 1997, both dates inclusive, at
[said flat] and elsewhere in Ayrshire meantime to the prosecutor unknown,
having committed the crime libelled in charge (2) hereof and being
conscious of your guilt in respect thereof you … did

1.

(a) remove the body of [Mrs McG], now deceased, from said premises;
2.

(b) transport said body to Largs Beach and conceal same under rocks
there;
3.

(c) thereafter recover said body and deposit same in a bin or similar
container and transport same onto a boat; and
4.

(d) deposit said bin or similar container and the body of said [Mrs McG]
into the sea,

and this you did with intent to conceal or destroy evidence in respect of
said crime and with intent to defeat the ends of justice and you did
attempt to defeat the ends of justice.’

[2] The appellants were sentenced to life imprisonment with punishment
parts of 26 years and 30 years respectively. Each appellant was sentenced
to eight years’ imprisonment in respect of charge 3, to run concurrently.

[3] The appellants appeal against conviction and sentence. The appeals
against conviction were heard on 6 February 2014. Transcripts available to
the appeal court included the Advocate-depute’s jury speech and the jury
speech made on behalf of the first appellant.
Circumstantial case

[4] The trial judge’s report dated 14 September 2010, and an opinion of the
Appeal Court in an application in terms of sec 107(8) of the Criminal
Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (cap 46) (‘the 1995 Act’) delivered by Lord
Hodge dated 8 February 2012, record the circumstantial case relied upon by
the Crown. In 1994, Mrs McG’s marriage had broken down. The two younger
children initially lived with their mother in Rothesay. As noted by the
trial judge at p 4 of his report, Mrs McG was a loving mother who cared
deeply for her children, and always tried to stay in regular contact with
members of her immediate and wider family. One of the two younger children
F (a boy aged ten) began having behavioural problems resulting in a period
in care. He then went to live with his father in Glasgow. However he always
had contact with his mother. When visiting his mother in Rothesay, RFmet
the appellants. Over a period of about three years between 1994 and 1997,
the appellants ‘groomed’ F such that he felt great affection for them,
looked up to them, and regarded them as his heroes. During this period, the
appellants sexually abused
F. As noted in Lord Hodge’s opinion (para 14), social workers gave evidence
that the appellants behaved as if they owned F.

[5] In June 1997, F and Mrs McG were staying in the appellants’ flat in
Largs. R was pleased with the arrangement, as he did not have to return to
live with his father, and he knew that the two appellants would let him do
as he pleased. However his mother became increasingly unhappy. There was
evidence that she had, by this stage, found out about the sexual abuse of
her son.

[6] Lord Hodge summarised the relevant evidence as follows:

‘[14] … There was evidence from, among others, Mr Colin Higgins, which
showed that each of the accused hated and disparaged Mrs McG. There was
evidence that Mrs McG had discovered that her son was being sexually abused
and that the accused were concerned that she would report them to the
police. F spoke of an incident at the tennis court in Largs, two days
before his mother disappeared, when Mr O’Neill had said to him that they
would need to get rid of her or she would get the police onto them. Mr
Greig McKelvie gave evidence of an argument in the flat on the night Mrs
McG disappeared (20 June 1997). He heard her [shout at the appellants that
they were a “fucking pair of poofters; I know what youse are up to; I’ll
see you get what’s coming to you”: trial judge’s report, p 5]. She wanted
to leave and return to Rothesay. Mr Lauchlan had the key to the front door
of the flat, and the door was locked to prevent her from leaving. After Mrs
McG had gone to bed in a distressed state, F overheard the appellants
talking about getting rid of his mother and cutting her up.

[15] There was evidence of two telephone calls after 1.00 am on 21 June
1997 between a landline phone in the flat and the mobile phone which the
two accused used. From that it could be inferred that one of the accused
within the flat was in contact with the other who was elsewhere. Next
morning, Mrs McG was not in the flat. Mr McKelvie returned to the flat and
found that the two accused were not there and their car was not parked
behind the premises. He came back later in the morning, by which time the
two accused had returned. He asked where Mrs McG was and the accused
replied that they had woken at 5.00 am to find the front door open and Mrs
McG had disappeared. The two accused also told F that his mother had gone
and that they did not know where. He noticed that their car was not parked
in its usual position.

[16] The Crown case was that Mrs McG had disappeared that night and that
she was never seen again. It was supported by evidence that she was a
vulnerable woman of low intelligence who was very close to her family but
who had had no contact with them after that night. The Crown submitted that
it was very unlikely that she would have left the area to adopt a new
identity without contacting her family. Mail addressed to her was left
uncollected at her Rothesay flat. She did not claim benefits in her name
after that date and her benefits book remained unused in her flat. It could
be inferred that she did not return there after 21 June 1997. The police
also [gave] evidence of the unsuccessful enquiries which they had made in
an attempt to trace her. The Crown’s case was that the two accused had
acted in concert to murder Mrs McG and had later disposed of her body at
sea.

[17] In about September 1997 the police arrested the accused after they
discovered that they were harbouring F in their flat in Largs.

[18] There was evidence that both of the accused had access to a boat, the
“Andola”, at Largs Marina … There was evidence that the accused had been on
the vessel at sea. A fisherman gave evidence that in 2005 he had caught in
his nets a wheelie bin which contained a foul smelling bag at an area of
the Firth of Clyde known as the Perch. He had cut free and returned the
wheelie bin to the sea without opening the bag, which he thought contained
the carcass of an animal.

[19] The Crown led evidence of several incriminating statements. The first
appellant Mr Lauchlan asked Mr Chris Lewis if he were questioned to say
that Mrs McG had not stayed in the appellants’ flat. Mr Lewis also
testified that Mr Lauchlan had said that she had fallen off the Rothesay
ferry. Some years
later Mr Lauchlan stated to Mr Keith Denneny that there had been a woman
who was going to be a witness against him and Mr O’Neill and that they had
got a boat, taken her out and fed her to the fish. Mr Graham Beckett spoke
of a drunken conversation in Gran Canaria during which Mr Lauchlan said
something about a woman who lived near to a place where a black bag was
found in water.

[20] Ms Linda Buckley gave evidence that during a visit to Largs she heard
Mr O’Neill ask her partner, John Hutton, how long it would take for a body
dumped at sea to come ashore. She noticed that both accused were anxious
and agitated and they spoke to her of moving to England. Mr Hutton had died
by the time of the trial but in his police statement he was recorded as
having said that Mr O’Neill had asked him “if a body fell in here, where
would it finish up?” Colin Higgins said that Mr O’Neill admitted and
boasted on many occasions that he had killed Mrs McG, that he spoke of her
in the past tense and said that she was feeding the fish in the Firth of
Clyde. Mr O’Neill had told him that Mrs McG’s body had been disposed of in
the Perch. Mr Higgins gave evidence that Mr O’Neill described Mrs McG as “a
grassing bastard”. He said that Mr Lauchlan was present when many of these
statements were made and that he would tend to laugh when Mr O’Neill made
them. Mr Higgins also stated that Mr O’Neill had said on one occasion that
he would be surprised by the number of bodies out there in the Firth of
Clyde. He also spoke of a remark by Mr O’Neill that the legal system of
this country was stupid as, unlike in Australia, without a body there could
be no crime.

[21] Mr John Molseed gave evidence that, when they were in prison together,
Mr O’Neill had told him that Mrs McG had been strangled to stop her going
to the police and that her body had been put somewhere down at Largs beach
under a sewer pipe. Ms Joanne Young said that Mr O’Neill had told her about
a woman who had been fed to the fish.’

Evidence of sightings after 21 June 1997

[7] At the trial, the Advocate-depute led the evidence of many witnesses
who thought that they had seen Mrs McG on dates after 21 June 1997. Some
further witnesses giving similar evidence were led by the defence.
Summaries of these witnesses’ evidence can be found in Appendix I of the
defence Form 15.15A and in paras 22 to 35 of the Advocate-depute’s speech.
Detective Constable Benson’s evidence

[8] Detective Constable Benson had been involved in the initial missing
persons inquiry concerning Mrs McG. Subsequently he was involved in
investigations leading to a proof of life report. The Advocate-depute
stated that DC Benson gave evidence that his investigations had included
the finding of Mrs McG’s benefits books in her flat in Rothesay, untouched,
with benefits unclaimed since 21 June 1997; negative responses (or no
responses) from women’s refuges; and relatives reporting no contact from
Mrs McG for a considerable time, despite the fact that she was close to her
family and, in the past, had regularly kept in touch with them.

[9] The defence, in cross-examination, were severely critical of the proof
of life investigation. Points made included: (a) the police did not make
inquiries about an alternative name which Mrs McG used; (b) only women’s
refuges with websites or email communication had been contacted: that left
large numbers of refuges uninvestigated, and in any event even of those
contacted, there was only a 25 per cent response and then no follow up; (c)
the police did not count a sighting of Mrs McG unless there were two
witnesses; and (d) the police contacted banking institutions although Mrs
McG never had a bank account.
Trial judge’s question

[10] Following cross-examination on behalf of the first appellant of DC
Benson, and prior to the cross-examination on behalf of the second
appellant, the trial judge asked the officer the following question: ‘As a
result of the investigation which you have set out for us, did you come to
any conclusion?’

[11] Detective Constable Benson replied:

‘I concluded that [Mrs McG] was no longer alive. I just couldn’t see how a
person who was so reliant on benefits and other people could exist without
them, I was very surprised that we wouldn’t find any trace of her if she
was still alive.’

[12] The trial judge then asked the solicitor-advocate for the first
appellant if he wanted to ask any further questions, which he did not.

[13] The precise wording of the question and answer was not initially
available at the appeal hearing. As defence counsel explained, requests for
transcripts of certain evidence had been refused. However in the course of
the Advocate-depute’s submissions, the bench requested that the precise
words be traced and given to the court. Over the lunch adjournment, the
Advocate-depute traced the relevant passage on a hard disc, and at about
2.00 pm provided the court with an agreed transcript.
Jury speech on behalf of the first appellant: Reference to the concept of
accessory after the crime

[14] The solicitor-advocate addressed the jury on behalf of the first
appellant, *inter alia* , as follows:

‘[Page 5, line 8] The prosecutor spoke to you of this being a
circumstantial case and a case of concert. I’ve mentioned circumstantial
evidence for the moment and I now pass on to look at the issue of concert.
Now, the example that’s always given … in courts is the bank robbery … [p
6] Let’s say the bank robber, the getaway driver, has got a wife and he has
a chat with his wife about how he’s going to go and pull another job. So,
she knows about what’s going to happen and then the chap who’s the driver
of the car comes back to the house after the job’s been done and he’s got a
gun … So she’s got what you might describe as the murder weapon … And let’s
say the wife gets rid of that gun because she disnae want her man to get
into trouble. What is the wife guilty of … in that analysis? … [p 7, line
13]. No one … in their right mind would think that there was enough
evidence to say that this lady is involved in the robbery at all, because
what she does comes after the fact. She might know about it. She might even
approve of her husband going out to earn his living by being a bank robber
… Her wrongdoing might [p 8] have been in concealing the crime after it’s
committed, but in Scotland there is a rule of law which his Lordship might
tell you about in due course which is that we don’t have accession after
the fact. You can’t be an accessory after the crime has been committed. You
can’t be an accessory to the crime that’s been committed already if your
active participation in it comes after the event. So, bear that in mind
when you’re considering the case against William Lauchlan… I ask you to
apply your minds and your common sense to what the prosecution are saying
in this case because you may think, after having heard all of my learned
Advocate depute’s submissions, that you’re lacking something about William
Lauchlan, and what you’re lacking is any evidence that he was actually
involved in any meaningful or active way in anything that may have happened
to [Mrs McG], if anything did happen to [Mrs McG] and that, you may think,
is open to question on the evidence that you’ve heard anyway. But even if
the Crown are right in what
they say to you, you may think, well, actually, that’s not good enough in a
case where they have to prove that William Lauchlan is guilty of murder, a
grave crime, beyond reasonable doubt’.

Judge’s charge

[15] In his charge, the judge directed the jury, *inter alia* , as follows:

‘[*Expert evidence* ]

[Page 50 foot] I should say [p 51] that none of the police evidence
amounted to expert evidence …

[*Concert* ]

[Page 76, line 22] Now as to the application of the doctrine of concert
ladies and gentlemen I should say this. In relation to a charge of murder,
where a particular accused [p 77] by his conduct actively associates
himself with a common criminal purpose which is, or includes the taking of
human life or carries the obvious risk that human life will be taken, that
accused may be guilty of murder even if the fatal injury is inflicted by
the other person. The common criminal purpose can be pre-planned or it can
arise spontaneously, as I have already explained. If you were satisfied
that (a) the two accused were acting together with the joint purpose of
committing the crime of murder or that there was a joint murderous attack
on [Mrs McG], (b) their purpose involved killing her or carried an obvious
and foreseeable risk that she would be killed, and (c) in carrying out the
joint purpose, or the murderous attack one of the two killed her, then the
other would be guilty of murder, if he actively associated himself with
that joint purpose or the murderous attack by word or action. So that is
what I wish to say to you about the application of the doctrine of concert
to the circumstances of the present case. From all this, it will be evident
to you ladies and gentlemen that, as Mr McVicar [solicitor-advocate for the
first appellant] correctly submitted, Scots law does not recognise the
concept of a person being guilty of a crime merely because he has become an
accessory after the fact, or anything of that nature …

[*The issue of death* ]

[Page 81, line 4] Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a matter entirely for you as
to how you decide to approach the evidence in this case, but you may
consider that a logical starting point would be to decide whether or not
the Crown has proved that [Mrs McG] is dead. I suggest this because, if you
have a reasonable doubt as to whether the Crown has proved that she is
dead, then obviously that is an end of the prosecution’s case. In
addressing this question, you will have to consider all the points made by
the Advocate-depute based on [Mrs McG’s] character, level of intelligence
and lifestyle as well as matters such as her family relationships and
financial circumstances. The Advocate-depute submitted, as you will no
doubt recall, that [Mrs McG] was what she described, I think, as a
vulnerable individual who would not have been capable of disappearing
completely and of creating a new identity for herself. On this issue, you
will have to consider also the investigations carried out by the police,
the results of which are drawn together in the Proof of Life reports. Mr
McVicar [for the first appellant] and Mr Carroll [for the second appellant]
on the other hand submit that the Crown has not proved that [Mrs McG] is
dead or at least they say that there is reasonable doubt as to whether she
is alive or dead. They rely amongst other things on the fact that [Mrs
McG’s] body has never been found and on what were said to be serious [p 82]
shortcomings and weaknesses in the police investigations. In any event the
defence argued these investigations were not conclusive on the issue as to
whether she is alive or dead. The defence pointed, for example, to the
statistics showing that many women go missing and remain untraced. It was
by no means unrealistic, it was argued, to suppose that
[Mrs McG] had decided, for whatever reason, to try to escape her various
difficulties and to establish a new life for herself somewhere else than in
the west of Scotland. In the event that you were to be satisfied, ladies
and gentlemen, that the Crown has proved beyond reasonable doubt that [Mrs
McG] is dead, then the next question you might think arises in the context
of the present case is whether the Crown has proved its case to the effect
that she died on the 21st or the 20th of June 1997. In this connection you
have, of course, heard a good deal of evidence from witnesses who said that
they saw [Mrs McG] alive at various times later, and in some cases a good
deal later than the date on which the Crown alleges that she was murdered
by the two accused. If you accept any of that evidence, or if any of it
leaves a reasonable doubt in your minds about whether [Mrs McG] died at the
time alleged by the Crown, then acquittals must ensue …

[*Rejection of sighting evidence would not mean the appellants were guilty
of murder* ]

[Page 84, line 17] If, ladies and gentlemen, you reach the stage in your
evaluation of the evidence of rejecting all the sighting evidence in the
case, it does not follow that the [appellants] are guilty of murder or of
disposing of the body. As I have already explained more than once, when you
reject evidence as unreliable, you simply put it to one side and disregard
it. If you do reach the stage of rejecting all the sighting evidence, you
would still have to go on to consider whether on the basis of the other
evidence in the case the Crown has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that
the accused murdered [Mrs McG] and disposed of her body …

[*Reminder that the defence position was that death had not been
established, and that the police investigations were inadequate* ]

[Page 94, line 19] [Mr Carroll, solicitor-advocate for the second
appellant] stressed the fact that [Mrs McG’s] body has never been recovered
and that simple fact was of considerable importance. The Crown had simply
not proved that she was dead … [p 95] Mr Carroll submitted that suicide,
accident or even foul play at the hands of another were all realistic
possibilities, none of which could be discounted. The Crown had failed to
exclude them all. The police, he contended, had formed a view about [Mrs
McG’s] death at too early a stage and had disregarded much relevant
information from a range of independent witnesses. Mr Carroll, as you will
recall, attacked the validity of the approach and the conclusions reflected
in the two proof of life reports and he illustrated this particularly by
reference to the evidence of the inquiry made of the Leith Women’s Aid
Organisation and he said the one name the police had not checked which was
a legitimate permutation was the name [MB], that name had been wrongly
edited out of the search criteria and was an example of the weakness and
inadequacy of the police investigations’.

Grounds of appeal which passed the sift

[16] The grounds of appeal against conviction which passed the sift were as
follows:
*Grounds of appeal for the first appellant*

‘4. It is respectfully submitted that the learned trial judge erred in
eliciting highly prejudicial irrelevant evidence from a police witness that
the Crown did not seek to elicit. In particular when police officer Peter
Benson gave evidence on 26th May 2010 regarding the terms of the Proof of
Life Report that he had been involved in compiling, the learned trial judge
took from him that the conclusion of the police enquiries was that [Mrs
McG] was dead. This was not admissible evidence. The Crown did not seek to
lead that evidence and it is submitted that the trial judge ought not to
have introduced that element in the
case. This was one of the crucial issues in the case and the police
conclusion amounted to a matter of opinion which was not expert evidence.
There was no good reason why that conclusion should have been elicited by
the trial judge and it was not a matter of clarifying any sort of ambiguity
that arose from the evidence of the witness. …

7. It is submitted that the learned trial judge misdirected the jury in
respect of the issue of accession after the fact. Directions about this are
given on page 77 at lines 16–20. A possible interpretation of the evidence
in this case was that the appellant had become an accessory after the fact
of the commission of the crime in respect of charge 2 and the failure to
give proper directions about what to do if that was the view that the jury
took of the evidence was a material misdirection. The jury should have been
directed that if they had taken the view that the appellant had involved
himself after the death of [Mrs McG] they should not convict in respect of
charge 2.’
*Ground of appeal for the second appellant*

‘12. The learned trial judge misdirected himself in law during the course
of the second phase of the trial dealing with charges of murder and
attempting to defeat the ends of justice when he determined that he should
ask and did ask the Crown witness Peter Benson to provide his opinion on a
Crown production that was referred to as a “Proof of Life Report”.

1.

i. The witness had been presented to the jury as an experienced
policeman of many years service and closely acquainted with the police
enquiries into the alleged disappearance and murder of [Mrs McG].
2.

ii. The trial judge asked the witness, he having previously read the
report, to give evidence of his “conclusion”. The witness deponed that his
conclusion was that she was dead. This was inadmissible evidence.
3.

iii. The witness was not qualified to provide such an opinion.
4.

iv. As an officer with a close association to the case over many years,
his evidence was likely to be viewed by the jury as highly persuasive.’

Submissions for the first appellant
*Ground of appeal 4*

[17] Senior counsel for the first appellant submitted that the trial judge
had erred in eliciting prejudicial and irrelevant material when he asked
the question noted in para 10. The officer’s opinion and conclusion was
inadmissible. It was a matter of opinion, and the officer was not an expert
who could or should give opinion evidence. The experienced Advocate-depute
had consciously chosen not to ask the question. One of the major issues in
the case was whether or not Mrs McG was in fact dead. That was a hugely
important question, and a major part of the defence case was that she had
not been proved beyond reasonable doubt to be dead. It was a matter for the
jury, and the jury alone, to reach a conclusion on the basis of the
material before them including the evidence of sightings of Mrs McG by many
witnesses. Reference was made to * Gage v HM Advocate * (paras 21, 22).

[18] The Crown would no doubt refer to sec 118(8) of the 1995 Act, as the
question had not been objected to at the time. But that approach was
unfair. The question came totally unexpectedly, and the answer came
immediately. To rely on sec 118 was to advocate a counsel of perfection.

[19] The authorities contained in the Crown’s case and argument (* Wyngrove’s
Exrx v Scottish Omnibuses Ltd * and other cases) did not help. They were
civil cases, concerning passengers on buses and the need for a central pole
at the bus exit. These were common sense matters. By contrast in the
present case there were
huge bodies of evidence on both sides of the argument. The issue was one
for the jury to decide, and they had suddenly been faced with ‘police
opinion’. As for * White v HM Advocate * , obviously a drug squad officer
built up a body of experience over the years and could give evidence about
an amount being ‘consistent with supply’, whereas the man in the street
would not necessarily have that knowledge. But in the present case, the
question was whether Mrs McG was alive or dead: that was a jury question.

[20] The Crown would also contend that, esto inadmissible evidence had been
allowed, there had been no miscarriage of justice. But if ever there was an
example of leading evidence which would influence a jury on something
absolutely crucial, and which would usurp their function, this was it. A
mistake of such a quality did cause a miscarriage of justice.
*Ground of appeal 7*

[21] There had been a misdirection relating to the concept of an ‘accessory
after the fact’ resulting from a lack of direction, rather than a
misdirection. The jury were not given sufficiently clear directions about
what to do if they were satisfied that the second appellant had been
involved in murdering Mrs McG, but were not satisfied that the first
appellant had been involved in the actual murder, although involved at a
later stage. What was required was to spell out to the jury that if they
were satisfied that a murder had taken place, but were not, on the
evidence, satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the first appellant had
been involved at that stage (although they were satisfied that he was
involved in the disposal of the body: charge 3) then they should have been
told that in law they were obliged to acquit the first appellant of charge
2. The deficiency in the charge on such a vital matter was a misdirection
leading to a miscarriage of justice.
*Conclusion*

[22] The conviction of the first appellant should be quashed.
Submissions for the second appellant
*Ground of appeal 12*

[23] The solicitor-advocate for the second appellant adopted the first
appellant’s submissions relating to the judge’s question. The detective
constable’s reply was inadmissible and remained inadmissible even although
there had been no objection. In any event, the defence could not have
objected to a question from the trial judge. The judge was the master of
the law. As was clear from his report, the trial judge was of the view that
the evidence thus elicited was admissible. Thus if an objection had been
made, the judge would have decided against the defence. One could hardly
invite the judge to appeal himself.

[24] The officer’s reply was an important and highly influential piece of
evidence. The public had respect for what the police did. This was a
detective constable with 35 years’ experience. While the defence had
mounted a major attack on the methodology and approach adopted by the
police in their inquiry, the judge, by eliciting inadmissible evidence, had
set the collective opinion of Strathclyde police against the defence
challenge to the proof of life report.

[25] Expert evidence could be led only if the tribunal of fact could not
reach a view without it (* Gage v HM Advocate * ): but DC Benson was not an
expert. He should not have been asked the question. His answer rendered the
trial unfair. The conviction of the second appellant should be quashed.
Submissions for the Crown
*Grounds of appeal 4 for the first appellant and 12 for the second
appellant*
*(i) Section 118(8)*

[26] The Advocate-depute referred to sec 118(8) of the 1995 Act and to
* McFadden
v HM Advocate * (paras 20, 21). No objection had been taken to the judge’s
question at the trial. It was not now open to the appellants to argue that
the question elicited inadmissible evidence. Only in very exceptional
circumstances could the effect of sec 118(8) be elided. Such circumstances
did not exist in the present case. Grounds of appeal 4 and 12 should be
refused.
*(ii) In any event, the evidence elicited was admissible*

[27] The Advocate-depute submitted that there was no hard and fast rule
that one had to be an expert before giving an opinion. There were
circumstances where an ordinary witness could give his opinion. Detective
Constable Benson was an officer engaged from the outset of the search for
Mrs McG. He had been involved in the missing person inquiry. He had then
been involved in the murder inquiry. He had interviewed several witnesses,
including witnesses to sightings of Mrs McG. He had interviewed members of
Mrs McG’s family. He had compiled a picture of a vulnerable woman with
significant problems, who relied extensively on her family to get through
difficult times, and whose only source of income was state benefits. She
had never had a passport; she could not drive; she found it difficult to
write. It was in that context that DC Benson gave his own view. His
personal opinion, as an individual, was admissible—not only as an ordinary
witness but also as a police witness with years of experience who had been
involved in the inquiry about Mrs McG (*cf** Wyngrove’s Exrx v Scottish
Omnibuses Ltd * ; Macphail, *Evidence* , para 17.02; Walker and Walker, *The
Law of Evidence in Scotland* , para 16.2; * Hewat v Corporation of the City
of Edinburgh * , p 35; * White v HM Advocate * ). Detective Constable
Benson supported his personal view by giving reasons, explaining that Mrs
McG was a woman so reliant upon state benefits and other people that she
would leave some trace if she were alive. The circumstances in the present
case were different from those in * Gage v HM Advocate * .
*(iii) In any event, there had been no miscarriage of justice*

[28] The Advocate-depute further submitted that there had, in any event,
been no miscarriage of justice because the judge’s directions to the jury
made it clear that it was for them to decide (on the basis of the whole
evidence) whether or not Mrs McG was dead. Reference was made to the charge
(pp 51, 52 (lines 13–16), 81, 82, 84, 94 (lines 21–24), 95 (lines 4–21)).
The trial judge gave very balanced directions, referring to the competing
prosecution and defence arguments, and emphasising that the decision
whether or not Mrs McG was dead was one for the jury—based on the whole
evidence (and not just the evidence of one police officer). Thus even if
the question should not have been asked, any prejudice which might have
been caused had been cured by sound, fair and balanced directions.

[29] The Advocate-depute further submitted that there had been a compelling
circumstantial case against each appellant, quite independently of the
police officer’s personal view. The circumstantial evidence strongly
demonstrated that Mrs McG was deceased. Reference was made to the summaries
of the evidence contained in the trial judge’s report and Lord Hodge’s
opinion. The evidence relating to sightings by witnesses who thought that
they had seen Mrs McG after 21 June 1997 had to be assessed by the jury.
The Crown’s position was set out in the Advocate-depute’s jury speech
(paras 22–35). Furthermore the jury had to be satisfied beyond reasonable
doubt not only that Mrs McG was dead, but that she had been murdered. In
view of the compelling nature of the circumstantial evidence led by the
Crown, there was no real possibility that, had the question not been put
and answered, the jury might have come to a different verdict.
*Ground of appeal 7 for the first appellant*

[30] The trial judge had given clear directions on concert. The jury knew
that the first appellant had to have been acting along with the second
appellant at the time of the murder. Reference was made to the charge (pp
76, 77, 85–88). Any further direction was unnecessary.
Discussion
*Judge’s question*
*(i) Whether the evidence elicited was inadmissible*

[31] Detective Constable Benson was a police officer who had been involved
in the search for Mrs McG from an early stage. He had carried out, or been
involved in, most of the means of investigation contained in the proof of
life report. The investigations had taken years. He explained his
involvement, the nature and extent of the investigations, and the results
of the investigations, to the jury.

[32] In our view, DC Benson had become particularly knowledgeable about Mrs
McG. He had acquired extensive knowledge about her, her lifestyle, habits,
friends and family—knowledge more comprehensive (so far as this court is
aware) than any shared by any other police officer or member of the public.
He was peculiarly well placed to give information about Mrs McG’s life and
lifestyle, her family, friends, addresses at which she lived, activities in
which she participated, her means of subsistence, and other such intimate
details. With that background, together with his involvement in the search
for Mrs McG, we consider that the jury were entitled to know what he,
personally, thought about whether she was currently alive but untraced, or
no longer alive. His view on that matter was not (as was suggested by
counsel and the solicitor-advocate for the appellants) the view of
‘Strathclyde Police’: it was simply the conclusion about a matter of fact
which he, as an experienced police officer involved in the search for Mrs
McG, had reached after several years. That was in our opinion admissible
evidence (*cf** Wyngrove’s Exrx v Scottish Omnibuses Ltd * , p 55;
Macphail, *Evidence* , para 17.02; Walker and Walker, *The Law of Evidence
in Scotland* , para 16.2; * Hewat v Corporation of the City of Edinburgh *
). We consider that the question asked in the context of this case is
distinguishable from a question directed to a police officer or any other
nonexpert witness, seeking a personal opinion about whether a particular
crime had been committed and/or the identity of the person responsible. In
our opinion,
questions directed to elicit such evidence are generally accepted
(correctly) as objectionable, and the evidence would be regarded as
inadmissible. The personal opinion of non-expert witnesses should rarely be
elicited in evidence and in many circumstances will be objectionable and of
no evidential value. The fact that an experienced Advocate-depute chose to
present the witness’s evidence in this case without asking for his own view
shows commendable caution, but does not, in our opinion, detract from the
fact that the evidence was admissible in the particular circumstances. The
reasoning given by the officer, based on the factual results of his
investigations, explained the view which he expressed.

[33] The weight which the jury gave DC Benson’s evidence was entirely a
matter for them. The jury had to take into account the absence of a body as
proof of death (a major matter); the many witnesses speaking to apparent
sightings of Mrs McG alive and well after the date of death contended for
by the Crown (20/21 June 1997) which might tend to suggest that the Crown
were wrong about the date of death and might therefore be wrong about the
death and the mode of death; and the absence of any forensic evidence which
might assist in determining the question of death. Detective Constable
Benson’s personal view was just one of many matters which the jury had to
take into account. The judge emphasised this in his charge.

[34] We are not therefore persuaded that the judge, by asking the question
he did, elicited inadmissible evidence.
*(ii) Section 118(8)*

[35] Even if we were wrong in that conclusion, sec 118(8) of the 1995 Act
provides:

‘No conviction, sentence, judgment, order of court or other proceeding
whatsoever in or for the purposes of solemn proceedings under this Act–

1.

(a) shall be quashed for want of form; or
2.

(b) where the accused had legal assistance in his defence, shall be
suspended or set aside in respect of any objections to–
1.

(i) the relevancy of the indictment, or the want of specification
therein; or
2.

(ii) the competency or admission or rejection of evidence at the
trial in the inferior court,

unless such objections were timeously stated.’

As was observed by the appeal court in * McFadden v HM Advocate * (para 20):

‘It is … of the utmost importance for the efficient administration of
justice that objections to the admission of evidence are taken timeously,
for example at a preliminary hearing, or during the course of the trial.
Only in very exceptional circumstances will the appeal court sustain
arguments relating to admissibility or to the leading of evidence said to
render the trial unfair where no objection was taken at or before the
trial.’

[36] We agree. In the present case, both appellants had experienced lawyers
representing them. Objecting to the eliciting of evidence said to be
inadmissible is one of the major functions of defence lawyers at trials.
Lawyers can, and do, object to questions put by a judge, if necessary
making subsequent supporting submissions to the judge outwith the presence
of the jury. Even if their objection came too late to stop a prompt answer,
or even if their subsequent arguments were unsuccessful at that stage and
the judge was not dissuaded from allowing or asking
the question, the defence would then be able to rely on their objection in
any future appeal, thus avoiding the effect of sec 118(8). If their
arguments were successful, either the evidence would not come out, or (if
the answer had been given) the judge might be requested to give the jury
specific directions to put certain evidence out of their minds.

[37] In the result we have not been persuaded that any exceptional
circumstances have been demonstrated in the present case, such as to avoid
the effect of sec 118(8).
*(iii) In any event, whether any miscarriage of justice*

[38] In our opinion, the Crown had established a strong circumstantial case
against the appellants. We refer to the trial judge’s report and to the
appeal court opinion delivered by Lord Hodge (see para 6). There was
evidence of a motive affecting both appellants, a shared plan to kill Mrs
McG, her detention in the flat on the night she disappeared, the telephone
calls in the middle of the night and the inferences which could be drawn,
Mrs McG’s sudden disappearance, the unlikelihood that she was capable of
creating a new life for herself without leaving any traces, the appellants’
access to a boat, and their subsequent incriminating statements. As against
that Crown case, as the judge reminded the jury in his chargeat (p 94), was
the complete absence of any dead body; the substantial number of witnesses
who thought that they had seen Mrs McG after 21 June 1997; the weaknesses
and omissions in the police investigations; all the possible alternatives
such as suicide, accident or foul play by some other person, which could
have occurred. Detective Constable Benson’s personal opinion following upon
his involvement in investigations about Mrs McG was just one of the many
pieces of evidence which the jury had to take into account. The trial judge
emphasised on more than one occasion in his charge that questions as to
whether Mrs McG was dead, when she had died, and whether she had been
murdered, were entirely for the jury.

[39] In the result therefore, in view of the whole evidence, and the fair
and balanced directions in the trial judge’s charge, we have reached the
view that even if we were wrong in relation to admissibility and sec
118(8), there was no real possibility that, had the question not been put
and answered, the jury might have reached a different verdict. Accordingly
we are not persuaded that there was any miscarriage of justice.
*(iv) Conclusion*

[40] In the result we are not persuaded that there is any merit in ground
of appeal 4 for the first appellant, or ground of appeal 12 for the second
appellant.
*Judge’s direction concerning an accessory after the fact*

[41] It was made very clear to the jury in the speech made by the
solicitor-advocate the first appellant precisely what being an ‘accessory
after the fact’ means (see para 14). The example of a bank robber and his
wife was put before the jury to draw their attention to the fact that the
robber’s wife could not, in the circumstances outlined, be found guilty of
the robbery. A parallel was drawn to the appellants, the message to the
jury being that they might find the second appellant guilty of the actual
killing of Mrs McG, but they might conclude that the first appellant was
only concerned in subsequent matters (eg disposing of the body).

[42] The judge’s charge followed upon the defence speeches. At that time,
the defence speeches would be fresh in the jury’s mind. Against that
background, the judge gave the jury appropriate directions concerning
concert. As a postscript, he referred back to the solicitor-advocate’s
message about Scots law not recognising the concept of a person being
guilty of a crime ‘merely because he has become an accessory after the fact
or anything of that nature’. The charge therefore approved and endorsed the
solicitor-advocate’s illustration and submission to the jury on that
matter, and emphasised that the only proper approach to concert which the
jury could adopt was as set out by the judge in his charge.

[43] In our opinion, in these circumstances, the directions about concert
were neither incomplete or inaccurate. There was no need for the judge to
rehearse the solicitor-advocate’s example again. The jury were given clear
and accurate directions on concert, with a brief addition confirming the
first appellant’s defence presentation to the jury on this matter.

[44] We are not therefore persuaded that there is any merit in ground of
appeal 7 for the first appellant.
Decision

[45] For the reasons given above, we refuse the appeals against conviction.
The appeals against sentence are continued to a date to be fixed.

The Court refused the appeals.

Fitzpatrick & Co , *Glasgow*–Drummond Miller LLP–*Crown Agent*

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.  National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups. Other useful sites are One in Four [C]  and Havoca [D]. Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog. Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.

Links

[1] Cathy Fox Blog Boats and Child Abuse https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/boats-and-child-sexual-abuse/

[2] Cathy Fox Blog Timeline of Court Appeals and Documentation https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/a-timeline-of-court-and-ewca-documentation-on-cathy-fox-blog/

[3] 2011 May 8 Daily Mail Maddie Police quiz convicted murderers as Kate McCann gives chilling account of moment she found daughter missing http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1384705/Madeleine-McCann-Police-quiz-convicted-murderers-Kate-McCann-gives-chilling-account-moment-daughter-missing.html

[4] Cathy Fox Blog William Hugh Lauchlan and Charles Bernard O’Neill Appeal 30 April 2013 https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/william-hugh-lauchlan-and-charles-bernard-oneill-appeal-30-april-2013/

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/for-survivors-coping-with-triggers-if.html

[B] NAPAC http://www.napac.org.uk/

[C] One in Four http://www.oneinfour.org.uk/

[D] Havoca http://www.havoca.org/HAVOCA_home.htm

[E] SurvivorsJustice Triggers post http://survivorsjustice.com/2014/02/26/triggers-what-are-they-and-how-do-we-work-through-them/

[F] SurvivorsJustice Blog http://survivorsjustice.com/

[G] Jim Hopper Mindfulness http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/

[H] Jim Hopper Meditation http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/#cultivate

This is all written in good faith but if there is anything that needs to be corrected please email cathyfox@bigfoot.com

cathyfox the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free

Advertisements

About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
This entry was posted in cathy fox blog, Child sexual abuse, Court, Scotland and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to William Hugh Lauchlan and Charles Bernard O’Neill v. HM Advocate (No 2) 19 June 2014

  1. Pingback: Boats and Child Sexual Abuse | cathyfox blog

  2. Pingback: An Index and Timeline of Court & Court of Appeal, EWCA and Scottish Documents on Cathy Fox Blog | cathyfox blog

  3. Pingback: William Hugh Lauchlan and Charles Bernard O’Neill Appeal 30 April 2013 | cathyfox blog

  4. Pingback: Boats and Child Abuse | cathyfox blog

  5. Pingback: ChildreninShadow.wordpress.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s