A convicted killer and paedophile has been found guilty of raping and murdering two teenage girls 37 years ago.
Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, both 17, were brutally killed after a night out at Edinburgh’s World’s End pub on October 15, 1977, with their bodies discovered the following day in East Lothian. They had been bound and strangled with their own underwear.
Angus Sinclair, 69, was convicted yesterday of the rape and murder of both girls after a trial at the High Court in Livingston lasting five weeks.
The prosecution is the first under changes to Scotland’s double jeopardy law which meant he could be retried for their murders after the court case against him collapsed seven years ago.
Sinclair, a serial rapist who has been in jail for more than 30 years, was accused of carrying out the attacks with his brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton, who died in 1996.
The jury of nine women and six men took less than two-and-a-half hours to convict Sinclair unanimously of both charges.
Sinclair was yesterday jailed for life and ordered to spend at least 37 years behind bars after being found guilty at the High Court in Livingston of raping and murdering teenagers Christine Eadie and Helen Scott in 1977.
The case, which became known as the World’s End murders, was for decades one of Scotland’s highest-profile unsolved crimes.
The girls’ bodies were found on October 16 1977, dumped in remote locations around five miles apart from each other.
In the words of the prosecutor Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, as the girls begged to be freed, Sinclair and Hamilton ended their lives “like something that was wiped off a shoe”.
In reaching their verdict, jurors were unaware that Sinclair has already spent more than half of his life in prison.
He was just 16 when he strangled seven-year-old Catherine Reehill in Glasgow in 1961, later pleading guilty to a charge of culpable homicide and serving six years.
In 1982 he was convicted at the High Court in Edinburgh of a string of sex attacks on 11 young girls – including three rapes.
While still in prison, he was given a life sentence in 2001 for the murder of 17-year-old Mary Gallacher, who was raped and stabbed in Glasgow in 1978.
Sinclair denied attacking Christine Eadie and her friend Helen Scott.
Sinclair submitted three special defences of incrimination – blaming his brother-in-law; alibi – saying he was fishing on the banks of the Firth of Forth near Cockenzie power station at the time; and consent to sexual intercourse.
He said they consented to sex as “they never said no”, the court earlier heard.
He told jurors he and Hamilton met the girls in the pub before leaving with them in his caravanette.