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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 October 2005, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Crown accepts murder miscarriage
George McPhee
McPhee was disappointed the judges did not quash his conviction
A man who spent 18 years in jail for murder has been told that the Crown accepted he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice at his trial.

George McPhee was jailed for life in 1985 for the killing of Elizabeth "Totsie" Sutherland at her home in Culbokie on the Black Isle.

The Crown told appeal court judges it would not seek to support the guilty verdict returned against McPhee.

The judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal will give their ruling later.

Majority verdict

Mr McPhee, 50, had consistently maintained he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

He was freed two years ago pending his appeal to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC).

The review cast doubt on the evidence of Colin Hawkins, who was with Mr McPhee on the day of the murder, and prisoner Trevor Proudfoot who claimed there had been a prison confession.

There was also concern over forensic evidence which was denied to the defence by Detective Superintendent Andy Lister, who died five years ago.

Mr McPhee was said to be very disappointed that the judges did not dismiss the case immediately.

Mrs Sutherland, a 30-year-old mother-of-two, was known as "Totsie" because she was only 4ft 9ins tall.

She was repeatedly stabbed in the chest and had her throat cut.

Her body was discovered by her 10-year-old daughter when she returned from school.

Mr McPhee had been brought up a few miles from the scene but was living in England at the time of the murder.

'Totsie' appeal man freed
17 Jul 03 |  Scotland

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