Limbs-in-loch killer William Beggs loses CCTV tapes bid
- 21 January 2014
- From the section Glasgow & West Scotland
Convicted "limbs in the loch" killer William Beggs has lost a long-running legal battle against police over access to CCTV footage of his victim.
The 50-year-old was jailed for life for killing and dismembering 18-year-old Barry Wallace in Kilmarnock in 1999.
When the Information Commissioner backed a police decision not to hand over CCTV tapes, he raised an action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
Judges have now upheld the decisions by the commissioner and police.
Beggs attempted to investigate the police investigation that led to his trial in September 2001.
In July 2010 he asked the former Strathclyde Police for information he wanted relating to the death of Mr Wallace.
Included in the list was CCTV tapes from cameras in Kilmarnock, footage from security cameras at a nightclub in the town and sightings of Mr Wallace and another man.
Beggs also demanded to know what steps had been taken to investigate claims by a witness who came forward and what steps had been taken to eliminate the witness from the police inquiry.
When Beggs did not get what he wanted, he made an application to the Scottish Information Commissioner, claiming that police were wrong to suggest that the details he had requested were exempt from the Freedom of Information Act's disclosure provisions.
When the commissioner backed Strathclyde Police, Beggs raised an action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
Lord Menzies, sitting with Lady Clark of Calton and Lord Clarke, has now ruled against him.
"We do not consider that there is any substance to the submission that the commissioner erred in law in the weight he attached to the facts and circumstances before him," said Lord Menzies.
"We are not persuaded... that the public interest in maintaining the exemption diminishes with the passage of time."
Beggs was sentenced to life after his trial ended in October 2001.
The jury heard how supermarket worker Mr Wallace vanished on 5 December 1999, after a Christmas night-out with colleagues in his home town of Kilmarnock.
A jury found Beggs took the teenager to his flat and subjected him to a serious sexual assault. He then murdered him and cut up his body.
The killer dumped Mr Wallace's limbs and torso in Loch Lomond and his head in the sea off the Ayrshire coast.
Shortly after the crime, Beggs fled to the Netherlands. After lengthy extradition proceedings, in January 2001 he was ordered to be returned to Scotland to face trial.
After his conviction, Beggs fought a long and complicated battle to overturn his conviction, which ended in failure in March 2010.
In December that year he reached the end of the line when the Supreme Court rejected his bid for a hearing there.