Schoolgirl's killers appeal against life sentences

Robert O’Brien, 45 and Andrew Kelly, 44, killed Caroline Glachan close to her home in Renton.

Two men jailed for life for murdering a schoolgirl in West Dunbartonshire in 1996 have appealed against their sentences.

Robert O’Brien, 45 and Andrew Kelly, 44, killed Caroline Glachan close to her home in Renton in August 1996.

O’Brien was ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars, while Kelly was ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years.

On Monday, the High Court of Appeal in Edinburgh confirmed the pair had lodged appeals against their convictions and sentences.

Caroline Glachan was found dead in a river in 1996.Police Scotland

Sentencing them earlier in January, judge Lord Braid described Caroline’s murder as “brutal, depraved and above all wicked”.

The judge said while Kelly played a lesser role, he was also involved in inflicting “murderous violence” on the teenager.

He said: “Caroline was a lover of life but due to both of you Caroline has been deprived of the opportunity of living that life, becoming an adult, having children, fulfilling the potential she had.

Caroline Glachan murder: Judge sentences two men to life imprisonment

He described O’Brien – who was in a relationship with Caroline at the time of her murder – as the main perpetrator, adding that he used “extreme violence” on the 14-year-old.

“You have taken a daughter from a loving mother. Mrs McKeich has spoken of the pain that Caroline’s death has caused, the void her death has left that will never be filled.

“She has been deprived of seeing the woman that Caroline would have become. No sentence that I pass could possibly make up for what she has lost.”

During ten days of evidence last month, the jury heard the trio repeatedly punched and kicked Caroline and threw bricks or other similar items at her, causing blunt force trauma to her head and body.

Caroline Glachan murder: Family give statement after men sentenced to life imprisonment

She was pushed or fell into undergrowth and her body was later discovered in the river at Place of Bonhill, Renton, on August 25 – the day of her mother’s 40th birthday.

Donna Marie Brand, 44, was also found guilty of the schoolgirl’s murder but was unable to be sentenced on Monday as she was in hospital with a respiratory infection and will be sentenced in March, the court heard.

Speaking after the conviction, Caroline’s mother Margaret McKeich said: “This is the day that I’ve been waiting for for 27 years.

“It was more than what I was hoping for, I’m really, really happy. I’m just sad that the other one is not here to get her comeuppance but she’ll get it in March.

“Today I couldn’t have wished for more, the outcome, the whole thing. I am over the moon.

“It’s not going to bring Caroline back but it’s justice for her. I don’t know if closure is the right word but justice has certainly been done.”

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