[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 10 September 2007, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
A life of abuse, rape and murder
Angus Sinclair
Angus Sinclair was convicted of the murder of Mary Gallagher
Angus Robertson Sinclair, the man at the centre of the collapsed World's End murders case, has a string of convictions.

His first brush with the law was at the age of 13 when he stole an offertory box from a Glasgow church.

The 12 months' probation he received for that petty crime, committed in 1959, did not, however, jolt him into a life of good behaviour.

Later that year, the youngest son of Angus and Mary Sinclair appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court on a housebreaking charge, for which he was later admonished.

However, it was in 1961 that Sinclair's life of crime took a sinister new twist when he was found guilty of lewd and libidinous practices against an eight-year-old girl.

For that offence he was given three years' probation.

It was seven months into that probationary period that he murdered for the first time.

Catherine Reehill was just eight when Sinclair sexually assaulted and strangled her in his family home.

He threw her body down a stairwell and told the little girl's mother that the death had been a terrible accident.

1959 - stole an offertory box from a Glasgow church
1959 - housebreaking charge
1961 - committed lewd and libidinous practices on an eight-year-old girl
1961 - convicted of murdering Catherine Reehill, aged eight
1980 - illegal possession of a .22 calibre revolver
1982 - pleaded guilty to 11 charges of rape and assault on children aged eight to 11
2001 - convicted of the 1978 murder of Mary Gallagher, aged 17

After being questioned by detectives the then 16-year-old Sinclair confessed to culpable homicide and was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

Pointedly, the judge Lord Mackintosh described Sinclair as "callous, cunning and wicked" and said that the perpetrator was so obsessed with sex that he was capable of taking a life to satisfy his lust.

There was nothing in Sinclair's unremarkable upbringing which might have hinted at what he would become.

He was brought up in the St George's Cross area of Glasgow and attended Lovell Street Primary, followed by St George's Junior Secondary School.

While in Edinburgh's Saughton Prison serving his sentence for Catherine's murder, he trained as a painter and decorator.

In 1970 he married trainee nurse Sarah McCulloch in Edinburgh and two years later they had a son Gary whom they brought up in Glasgow.

Throat cut

To all who knew him, Sinclair was apparently living a stable family life between 1970 and 1979.

However, the convicted killer was never too far from being on the wrong side of the law. In 1980 he had a short spell in prison for illegally possessing a .22 calibre revolver and ammunition.

Further police investigations found he had committed a string of indecent assaults and rapes against boys and girls aged between eight and 11.

His method was predatory - waiting in flats and closes before grabbing his victims at knifepoint.

In 1982 he pleaded guilty to 11 of 13 charges and was sentenced to life in prison.

peterhead prison
Sinclair is serving his life sentence at Peterhead Prison

In 2000, Strathclyde Police did a cold case review of the unsolved murder of Mary Gallagher, which happened in November 1978.

The 17-year-old had been dragged into bushes, sexually assaulted, had had her throat cut and had a ligature round her neck.

Among the forensic files there was a sample of semen which was DNA tested and showed a profile matching Sinclair's.

Although he never confessed to the murder, he was convicted in June 2001 and received a further life sentence.

He is serving his time at Peterhead Prison where he is in charge of the kitchens and is said to be a "model and trusted" prisoner.

Indeed a behaviourist who observed Sinclair recognised him to be affable and polite, even during police interviews.

Others have noted him to be charming and generous.

However, psychological tests conducted on Sinclair after his first killing at the age of 16 concluded that he was an extremely dangerous individual who was completely obsessed with sex.

DNA evidence was again a key element in Sinclair's trial for the World's End murders - the killing of two young Edinburgh women - but on this occasion judge Lord Clarke said the Crown had insufficient evidence to proceed.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific