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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 8 April, 2003, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Man convicted of double murder
Christopher Hutcheson
Hutcheson dismembered and burned the body
A man has been found guilty of a double murder and cutting up one of the bodies to conceal the crime.

Christopher Hutcheson, 23, was found guilty of the murder of his cousin, ex-soldier Daniel Hutcheson, and dismembering the corpse.

He was also found guilty of the murder of John Mitchell, a homeless man, by pushing him off a bridge near Strathaven in Lanarkshire.

Hutcheson has been sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment for the double murder, with a minimum term of 25 years before parole is considered.

Both murders took place late in 2001 and the court heard they were related to unpaid drug debts.

Hutcheson's co-accused Andrew Ferguson, 19, was found guilty of the murder and dismemberment of Daniel Hutcheson.

Body burned

Ferguson was sentenced to life imprisonment at a young offenders' institution.

Christopher Hutcheson was also found guilty of attempted murder and a number of serious assaults.

After the verdicts were announced there was disorder at the High Court in Glasgow and proceedings had to be adjourned.

Daniel Hutcheson's mother, Lorraine O'Connor, rushed forward as Christopher Hutcheson was led down to the cells and had to be restrained by police officers as she hurled abuse at him.

Speaking outside court, she said: "Apart from bringing back the death penalty, justice has been done. He should burn in hell."

Ferguson's family, meanwhile, protested his innocence and a number of his supporters had to be escorted out of the courtroom.

The jury found that Daniel Hutcheson was murdered at Woodville Street, Ibrox, between 20 November and 11 December, 2001.

Daniel Hutcheson was a former soldier
Daniel Hutcheson: Accused's cousin
Hutcheson strangled his cousin with a piece of rope as Ferguson looked on.

Mr Hutcheson's body was then cut up and his head and limbs burned between 30 November, 2001, and 26 April, 2002.

The trial had heard Hutcheson burned the arms and legs of his cousin Daniel in a tenement back garden over two days, occasionally stoking the fire.

On the third day Hutcheson put Daniel's head into the oil drum wrapped in a bin bag.

The body parts were then dumped at four separate locations, including under the Erskine Bridge on the River Clyde, in an attempt to conceal the crime.

Mr Mitchell died after being tortured at Hutcheson's flat for 11 hours on 15 or 16 September 2001.

He was then bundled into a car driven by Ferguson and taken to a remote bridge at Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, where Hutcheson pushed him off the edge.

Trial judge Lord Bracadale jailed both men for life for what he described as "barbarous acts".

After a night at the dancing you went to B&Q where you bought a saw, bin bags, rubber gloves and cable ties
Lord Bracadale
The judge said: "It is clear that the background to this case was a drug dealing partnership in which you, Christopher Hutcheson, were the main man.

"If people failed to pay or otherwise offended you they were severely punished.

"In the case of John Mitchell, having on an earlier occasion stabbed him and three days earlier having spent a day torturing him, you took him to a remote area and without the slightest hesitation threw him off a high bridge and left him to die.

"Three months later you, Andrew Ferguson, and you, Christopher Hutcheson, murdered Daniel Hutcheson, you put his body in a bath of water and thereafter both of you behaved grotesquely.

"After a night at the dancing you went to B&Q where you bought a saw, bin bags, rubber gloves and cable ties and you dismembered the body in the back garden.

"Everyone who heard the evidence in this case was deeply disturbed by it and people everywhere will be horrified to hear of such barbarous acts being committed in their midst."

BBC Scotland's Bob Wylie
"The body parts were burned in the back court"

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