Serial killer and paedophile Angus Sinclair has been jailed for life for the murder and rape of two 17-year-olds in 1977.
Sinclair, 69, brutally killed Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, who were both 17, after a night out at Edinburgh’s World’s End pub 37 years ago.Their bodies were found the following day in East Lothian. They had been bound and throttled with their own underwear.
Sinclair, who had previously murdered at least two other women, was accused of carrying out the attacks with his brother-in-law, Gordon Hamilton, who died in 1996 before he could face justice.
Sinclair was sentenced to life in prison at a trial at the High Court in Livingston, and will spend at least 37 years behind bars.
The sentence means Sinclair is likely to die in jail.
Sentencing, Judge Lord Matthews told Sinclair he was ‘a dangerous predator who is capable of sinking to the depths of depravity’.
The prosecution is the first under changes to Scotland’s ‘double jeopardy’ law, which meant he could be retried for their murders after a previous trial collapsed seven years ago.
The jury of nine women and six men took less than two-and-a-half hours to convict Sinclair unanimously of both charges.
Police fear Sinclair, who has been in prison for more than 30 years, killed at least six women and girls – as well as the two 17-year-olds.
Miss Eadie and Miss Scott got into Sinclair’s camper van after a night drinking in the city centre pub.
Their bodies were found six miles apart in the East Lothian countryside less than 24 hours later.
Miss Eadie was found naked on Gosford Bay and Miss Scott was discovered on farm, exposed from the waist down.
Lord Matthews said that whatever dreams the girls had for their futures had ‘turned to nightmares’ that night when they left the World’s End pub.
Sentencing Sinclair, he said: ‘Little were they to know that they had the misfortune to be in the company of two men for whom the words evil and monster seem inadequate.
‘Unless one day your conscience, if you have one, motivates you to tell the truth, no one other than you will ever know precisely what part you and Gordon Hamilton played in these awful events.
Miss Eadie’s hands were tied behind her back with part of a pair of tights and her mouth had been stuffed with a pair of knickers held in place by a bra.
The other leg of the tights was tied around her neck.
Unlike her friend, Miss Scott was still wearing her top and her new coat, purchased just days before.
Her belt had been used to tie her hands behind her back. The belt from her friend’s jumpsuit was around her neck. A footprint marked her face.
An extensive search was undertaken for missing items and clothing belonging to both girls, but none were found.
It was the advent of DNA profiling that jump-started the case and eventually led police in 2005 to Sinclair and Hamilton, who was now dead.
Sinclair took to the dock in 2007 charged with the murders but the case collapsed mid-trial.
The most recent trial forced their distraught parents to relive the murders in court for the second time.
Miss Scott’s father Morain Scott, 84, said her mother Margaret was never the same again.
The murder marked the start of his wife’s ill health and she died in 1989 having never seen her daughter’s killers brought to justice.
But Mr Scott was in court today to see the murderer of his daughter and her friend jailed for life.
Speaking days after his daughter’s body was found, he said: ‘I can’t put into words the heartbreak we have gone through.’
‘My girl went off to work as happy as a lark on Saturday morning. She was going out with her chums right after work.
‘I still can’t believe that it’s my little girl and her chum who are dead.’
Serial killer Sinclair was jailed for 10 years for culpable homicide after sexually assaulting and strangling seven-year-old Catherine Greenhill.
However, he was free to kill again after just six years, which he did in 1977 when he carried out the World’s End murders.
The next year he killed yet another 17-year-old, Mary Gallacher, who he raped, stabbed and strangled near a train station in Glasgow.
Sinclair was not caught, and went on to sexually assault 11 young girls, some just six years old, between 1978 and 1982, for which he was jailed for life.
Improved DNA analysis technology eventually saw him convicted in 2001 for the murder of Miss Gallacher.