World's End Killer Appeals For Sentence Reduction

7 November 2015, 08:34 | Updated: 7 November 2015, 09:09

World's End killer Angus Sinclair has had his appeal heard against the sentence he was handed for the 1977 murders of two teenage girls.

Sinclair, 70, was jailed for life and told to serve a minimum of 37 years after a jury last year found him guilty of killing Christine Eadie and Helen Scott.

It is the longest sentence ever imposed by a Scottish court.

The conviction also made legal history as his retrial was the first to take place following changes made in Scotland in 2011 to the centuries-old double jeopardy principle, which prevented a person being tried twice for the same crime.

The legal change meant Sinclair could be retried for the murders of the 17-year-olds after the court case against him collapsed seven years ago.

The teenagers were targeted by Sinclair and his brother-in-law Gordon Hamilton, who died in 1996, on a night-out at Edinburgh's World's End pub on October 15 1977.

Their bodies were discovered the following day, having been dumped in remote locations in East Lothian. They had been raped, strangled and bound with their underwear.

Sinclair was convicted in November 2014 following a five-week trial at the High Court in Livingston.

During sentencing, trial judge Lord Matthews said the words ''evil'' and ''monster'' were inadequate for Sinclair, who he branded a ''dangerous sexual predator''.

Jurors, who took less than two-and-a-half hours to find Sinclair guilty of both murder and rape, were unaware the violent offender had 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 and in 1982 he was convicted of a string of sex attacks on young girls, including rape.

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.

Earlier this year, he dropped an appeal against last year's conviction but is continuing in a bid to have his 37-year term reduced.

At the Appeal Court in Edinburgh today, judges heard submissions over whether or not the convictions in 1982 and 2001 should have been taken into account in determining the punishment part of the sentence as they were events which came after the offence.

Judges Lady Paton, Lady Clark and Lord Malcolm will deliver their judgement at a later date.