William Beck loses armed robbery conviction appeal
- 30 April 2013
- From the section Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland
A man found guilty of armed robbery more than 30 years ago has lost his appeal against the conviction.
William Beck was jailed for six years for robbing a post office van in Livingston in 1981.
He has always protested his innocence, arguing that eye witness evidence was mistaken.
The case was heard again by appeal court judges following submissions by researchers at Bristol University's Innocence Project.
Beck said the result was "utterly shocking" as he left the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which investigates possible miscarriages of justice had also taken up the case - after repeated applications - and asked appeal judges to look again at Beck's trial.
Help from supporters
A jury's majority verdict convicted him of stealing a car from the Broomielaw in Glasgow on 12 December 1981 and taking part in a robbery at a supermarket in Livingston.
Two post office workers were struck with hammers and bags containing £21,000 in cash were taken.
Beck, originally from Castlemilk, was jailed for six years and an appeal against conviction was thrown out in October 1982.
However, with the help of his supporters his complaints about the trial were given a fresh hearing in March this year.
His grounds of appeal criticised the legal directions given to jurors by trial judge Lord Dunpark, the eye witness evidence Beck claims was mistaken, the rejection of his alibi and a claim that his legal team had let him down.
All were rejected by Lord Carloway, sitting with Lords Brodie and Marnoch.
Beck, who is known as Wullie and lives in Glasgow, was 20 when he was arrested.
Beck left court claiming he would try to take his case to the Supreme Court.