Scotland

Julie Reilly murder: Life sentence for killer who chopped up victim

Andrew Wallace
Image caption Andrew Wallace was previously convicted of killing a woman when he was 15

A convicted killer has been jailed for at least 28 years for murdering a woman in Glasgow and dismembering her body.

Andrew Wallace was given a mandatory life sentence for killing Julie Reilly, 47, in her Govan flat in February last year.

Wallace, 42, cut off her legs with a knife and put the remains in plastic bags and suitcases, before burying them near Ms Reilly's home.

Judge Lady Rae told him he was guilty of an "evil and despicable act".

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Ms Reilly was reported missing in February 2018

The judge told Wallace: "You are a dangerous man who has a considerable propensity for violence."

She passed a life sentence with a minimum of 28 years before he can apply for parole.

The judge said she would have set the minimum term at 30 years if it had not been for his guilty plea.

It is the second time Wallace has killed a woman.

He was just 15 when he was found guilty of culpable homicide in 1992.

Image caption Part of Ms Reilly's body was found in a garden in Ardshiel Road

Wallace was arrested for Ms Reilly's murder after the discovery of two leg bones close to her home.

No other body parts have been found and her sister, Lynne Bryce, has appealed to Wallace to reveal the location of her remains.

"I hope that if he has a heart he could now please tell us where he has put my sister and let her come home to be put to rest properly, with the dignity she deserves," Ms Bryce said.

Ms Reilly's sister and other members of her family were in court to hear the details of the murder as Wallace was sentenced.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Parts of Julie's body were found buried in a nearby garden

The High Court in Glasgow was told that Ms Reilly had a brain injury which caused problems with her memory, slowed her reactions and affected her speech.

She was befriended by Wallace, and had allowed him to stay with her at her home in Shieldhall Road after he had split up with his girlfriend in December 2017.

She thought he would help to care for her, but the court heard that he saw her as being "easy to manipulate and rip off".

Image caption After she went missing, a forensic team examined a piece of land close to where Ms Reilly lived

The last recorded sighting of Ms Reilly was on 6 February last year.

The following day Wallace told a friend he needed "to get rid of a body".

He also sent texts claiming that Ms Reilly had moved to the Penilee area of Glasgow.

In the following days he was seen at the homes of two friends with heavy suitcases.

He told one friend he had hit a deer while out driving and wanted to sell the meat.

Human remains

Image caption Human remains were found close to Ms Reilly's home

He told another friend he had been thrown out by Ms Reilly and the suitcase contained his dirty washing.

Prosecutor Richard Goddard told the court that the cases actually contained human remains.

Ms Reilly was reported missing by worried relatives on 15 February last year after failing to turn up to several appointments.

She also missed her grandson's first birthday.

Her mother Margaret Hanlon and sister Ms Bryce made an emotional appeal for her return.

Image caption Police found traces of blood in Julies flat

When police examined Mr Reilly's flat as part of the missing person's investigation, they found traces of blood in the hall, kitchen, bedrooms and living room.

On 19 April a member of the public found a bone with flesh attached in his front garden in Ardshiel Road.

Days later another person contacted the police about an apparent burial site at Drumoyne Drive.

Mr Goddard added: "The precise circumstances of the murder are not known. To-date neither the suitcases seen in possession of the accused, nor the rest of the body of Julie Reilly, has been recovered."

'Shocking crime'

Wallace's defence lawyer Ian Duguid told the court the killing had come after an argument.

"Julie Reilly had taken a knife and presented it at him," he said.

"He took that from her and stabbed her in the chest. This is his explanation as to how she met her death.

"A shocking crime exacerbated by what followed it. Going to such lengths was either desperation or a reflection on his thought process."

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