Glasgow & West Scotland

Appeal bid by dead murderer Thomas Young rejected

A man who died in prison after serving 37 years for murdering a woman has lost an appeal against his conviction.

Lawyers acting for Thomas Young were given permission to continue arguing for his murder conviction to be quashed after he died, aged 79, in July.

He was jailed in October 1977 for killing Frances Barker in Glenboig, North Lanarkshire, in June that year.

Appeal court judges rejected a claim that there was not sufficient evidence to convict Young.

His legal team argued that he had been the victim of a miscarriage of justice after the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission sent the case to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

'Blackouts' claim

In a judgement issued by the court on Friday, judges Lord Eassie, Lord Menzies and Lord Bracadale ruled that there was enough evidence to allow the conviction to stand.

In the judgement, the judges pointed to the fact that bleached hairs similar to those of the deceased Frances Barker were recovered from the cab of the lorry that was driven by Young.

Lord Eassie also wrote: "The appellant accepted in an interview with the police that he might well have committed this murder during one of what he described as his 'blackouts'.

"Particular personal items belonging to Frances Barker were recovered from the appellant's daughter, having been given to her by the appellant.

"Other such items were found by the police underneath the floorboards of a room in the dwelling in which the appellant was residing at the time of his arrest."

Lord Eassie said the judges believed the conviction should stand.

He wrote: "Having regard to all of the foregoing matters, we have come to the view that we cannot uphold any of the grounds of appeal advanced by the appellant. The appeal therefore fails."

Young, who was a prisoner of HMP Peterhead, was jailed for life at the High Court in Glasgow in 1977.

The court heard how he abducted Ms Barker from near her home in the north of Glasgow in June that year.

Her strangled body was found woodland in Glenboig.

Young was also found guilty of two attempted murders, two rapes and other offences but had always protested his innocence.

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