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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 August 2007, 12:58 GMT 13:58 UK
Appeal victory for murder accused
Raymond Gilmour - Pic by Ciaran Donnelly
Raymond Gilmour is still serving a term for indecent exposure
A man found guilty of the murder of a schoolgirl 25 years ago has had his conviction overturned after telling judges he made a false confession.

Raymond Gilmour, 45, had always protested his innocence of the rape and murder of schoolgirl Pamela Hastie.

His mother, Christina, 76, was at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh to see Lord Justice Clerk Lord Gill announce the judges' decision.

Gilmour, from Paisley, was released from prison in 2002 pending the appeal.

He was returned to the cells, however, as he is still serving a 30-month sentence for indecent exposure - an offence committed after he was released from his life sentence on parole.

Mrs Gilmour said: "It has been a long wait but we got what we asked for. It has been very tough all these years but I have never had any doubt he was innocent."

Sexually disturbed

Pamela, 16, was attacked on the afternoon of 4 November, 1981, as she walked home through Rannoch Woods in Johnstone, Renfrewshire.

Her attacker strangled her with a length of twine after striking her on the head with a piece of wood and dragging her into bushes.

A post-mortem examination also showed she had been raped.

Gilmour, who was said to be a shy, inadequate and sexually disturbed teenager, quickly became a suspect.

He was known to go to the woods to expose himself and when interviewed by detectives, he admitted flashing in the woods the day before the murder.

Pornographic magazines were found at the scene of the crime which matched others found in Gilmour's bedroom.

I didn't kill the girl. I only made it up to please the other police
Raymond Gilmour

He was remanded in custody on a charge of indecent exposure and questioned again about the murder.

On the way back to his cell he began to cry and told police: "I can't go on like this. I'll have to talk."

He told officers the schoolgirl had surprised him and he attacked her.

Gilmour then said: "That girl had a long life to live if I hadn't ended it. I'm sorry about it."

Later he told another officer: "I didn't kill the girl. I only made it up to please the other police. I couldn't take any more questioning."

A senior police officer, Det Supt James Brown, thought the confession was a lie and Gilmour was released.

However, he remained a prime suspect and in January 1982 a new detective superintendent, Charles Craig, took over the case.

Court of Session
The judges accepted evidence from a professor of psychology

Gilmour made a fresh confession to him in February 1982, again admitting he had strangled Pamela.

A jury that year found him guilty by a majority of eight to six. He was jailed for life and later lost an appeal against conviction.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission took up Gilmour's protests of innocence and sent him back to the appeal court, noting inconsistencies in the confessions.

Gilmour's defence solicitor, Gordon Ritchie, called in the help of top clinical psychologist Professor Gisli Gudjonsson.

The professor told an earlier hearing that although there was no evidence Gilmour suffered from mental illness he was shy, immature and unlikely to cope well if pressurised by police.

Gilmour's defence team argued that this was "fresh evidence" which should free him.

They also said the defence at his trial should have made a better job of challenging post-mortem evidence and claimed the judge had misled the jury.

Lord Gill, sitting with Lord Abernethy and Lady Paton, ruled that the conviction should be quashed because of the professor's evidence.

Gilmour had served 21 years before he was released on parole.

Murder appeal delayed by debate
03 Oct 06 |  Glasgow and West
Appeal in schoolgirl murder case
10 Jun 01 |  Scotland
Police review schoolgirl murder
17 Sep 04 |  Scotland

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