Fame Irene Cara
13 May 2011, 10:47
The parents of a woman whose body was found dumped in a bin said today her killer had "destroyed so many lives'' after he was found guilty of her murder.
Samantha Wright had been reported missing on what would have been her 25th birthday in January 2009 after she had failed to get in touch with her family for several months.
Robert Chalmers, from Edinburgh, had already killed Miss Wright "by means unknown" on June 12 or 13 2008 and hidden her remains in his garden bin.
At the High Court in Edinburgh, Chalmers, 59, was found guilty of murdering her at his home in Magdalene Drive in the Duddingston area of Edinburgh and hiding her body.
In a statement released on behalf of her family, Samantha's parents, Jeremy Wright and Catherine Gibson, said: "Robert Chalmers has destroyed so many lives, not only ours but also Samantha's friends, as well as his own family.
"She was such a beautiful young woman who had everything to live for but he cut her life short. Samantha will always be loved by so many and will never be forgotten."
Miss Wright was originally from Stevenage, Hertfordshire but had moved to Edinburgh after falling in love with the city on a family holiday.
After today's verdict, her parents said: "This has been the worst three years of our lives. No one should have to go through something so tragic.
"We would urge anyone who has children who live away from home, who they cannot get in touch with, to contact police, because it is better to be safe than sorry.
"We would also like to take this opportunity to thank police and the fiscal service who were involved in bringing Robert Chalmers to justice."
Police were led to Chalmers after the discovery of CCTV footage which showed Miss Wright with him in Edinburgh city centre on June 12, 2008.
Her remains were discovered during a search of his property in October 2009.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Thomas, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "It is clear by his actions that Robert Chalmers is a cold-hearted and callous killer, who took the life of a sociable but vulnerable young woman and dumped her remains as if they were rubbish.
"I am satisfied at today's verdict, which reflects the hard work of police and prosecutors to bring this case to a successful conclusion.
"At this time I would like to pay tribute to Samantha's family, who provided invaluable assistance and unwavering support to the officers investigating her disappearance, and who have carried themselves with dignity throughout what has been a harrowing ordeal.
"It is my sincere hope that they can draw some comfort from the verdict at court today."