Man who battered and strangled new girlfriend to death jailed for 23 years

Claire Inglis, 28, was found not breathing at St Ninians in Stirling.

A man who battered and strangled to death his new girlfriend weeks after he was granted bail to her home has been jailed for 23 years.

Claire Inglis, 28, was found not breathing, badly bruised, with a baby wipe so deep in her throat paramedics could not get an airway tube into her without removing it in November 2021.

Ambulance staff who arrived at the scene in St Ninians, Stirling, were greeted by neighbours shouting: “He’s killed her. Murder.”

Claire’s new partner, Christopher McGowan, 28, was found guilty at the High Court in Stirling in September.

Claire's new partner, Christopher McGowan, 28, was found guilty at the High Court in Stirling on Thursday.Central Scotland News Agency

The verdict was unanimous.

At the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday, October 25, he was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

A previously convicted domestic offender, he had been freed on bail to stay at her flat just weeks earlier.

Judge Michael O’Grady KC told him: “Those of use who practise in these courts have the misfortune to hear day and daily of the daily of the dreadful things that human beings do one to another and perhaps over time regrettably but inevitably such things can lose a measure of their impact.

@stvnews Humza Yousaf comments on Claire Inglis' 'tragic' death. #humzayousaf #scotland #scottishnews #scottishtrial #stv #stvnews #news #murder #murdercase #court ♬ original sound – STV News

“But some crimes still have the power to profoundly shock, and surely your brutal and bestial killing of Claire Inglis is one.

“It was a crime of staggering cruelty and depravity, a crime of utter wickedness

“You have without rhyme, reason or pity taken the life of a young woman, a sister and daughter and mother, who as your partner should have been confident of looking to you for protection

“Instead, you brought to her terrible destruction and to her family a lifetime of anguish.”


Footage shows Claire Inglis’ last movements before she was murdered. #murder #cctv #cctvfootage #stv #stvnews #court #edinburghcourt #news #scotland #scottishnews

♬ original sound – STV News

Claire, described as a “beautiful, amazing young mum” with a young son was killed just four weeks before Christmas, 2021.

She had announced on Facebook less than two months earlier that she was “in a relationship” with McGowan, a painter and decorator, with a criminal record for violence and other offences, including domestic offending.

Only weeks earlier he had been released from prison, where he had been remanded on charges including dangerous driving following a high-speed police pursuit.

Claire’s parents slammed the Sheriff Court decision to release McGowan to live at their daughter’s home weeks before her death.

Her father Ian said: “He should never ever have been put in her flat with my grandson and Claire – not with the criminal record he had.

“It should never have been allowed.”

Detective inspector Will Harley, Forth Valley CID, said: “Claire had a young family when her life was ended by this horrific attack.

“Her loved ones have been left absolutely devastated and our thoughts remain with them at this extremely difficult time.

“While this conviction can’t change what happened, I hope that it brings at least a degree of closure for her relatives and friends.

“This was a horrendous crime, which involved significant levels of violence. Christopher McGowan cruelly took Claire’s life, showing complete disregard for her and her family.

“He will now have to face the consequences of his actions.

“Violence like this has no place in our society and we will continue to work closely with our partners to bring perpetrators to justice.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in