Inverkip carer to appeal against murder conviction
24 July 2019, 16:16 | Updated: 24 July 2019, 16:17
A carer found guilty of the murder of vulnerable teenager Margaret Fleming intends to appeal against his conviction and sentence.
Last month, Edward Cairney, 77, and Avril Jones, 59, were both sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 14 years for the
murder of Ms Fleming around December 1999.
Following a seven-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow, the pair were found guilty by majority of murdering Ms Fleming.
The body of Ms Fleming, who had learning difficulties, has never been found.
At the sentencing, lawyers for Cairney and Jones said that both maintained their innocence and believe that Ms Fleming is still alive.
On Wednesday, the Scottish Court Service confirmed to PA that Cairney has submitted an intimation of intent to appeal against his
conviction and sentence.
It is understood that Jones has not indicated that she will appeal, although she has until July 31 if she wishes to do so.
In June, jurors found the couple murdered Ms Fleming by unknown means between December 18, 1999 and January 5, 2000 at their home
in Inverkip, Inverclyde, or elsewhere in Scotland, and then tried to cover up the crime for almost 18 years.
Police launched an investigation after it became apparent in October 2016 Ms Fleming was missing.
Routine social services inquiries were said to have sparked concerns over her whereabouts.
It was claimed the last independent sighting of her was at a family event on December 17, 1999.
Her supposed carers were arrested in October 2017.
During their trial, which began in April this year, prosecutors described Ms Fleming as a "friendless and lonely" young woman with significant difficulties.
She moved to the Seacroft home of the accused when she was a teenager following her father's death after those closest to her "didn't want
By October 1999, the household - said to have financial troubles - was collecting her benefits.
The Crown suggested it was "tempting" for the couple to have the money but not the "inconvenience" of looking after her.
Holding them jointly responsibility for the death, the Crown claimed Cairney and Jones "literally got away with murder for 16 years".
The details of how, where and when Ms Fleming died may never be fully known since, as the defence highlighted, there is no body and no
The court heard money was the motive behind the "terrible" crime, with the pair devising an "elaborate scheme" to conceal her
As police zoned in on the couple, their fabricated stories to explain Ms Fleming's absence became increasingly "farcical" as they tried to
reconcile claims she was both working as a gangmaster and capable of travelling overseas, and that she was someone with major difficulties requiring a number of benefits.