A man will be sentenced on Monday after being found guilty of sexually assaulting and murdering his 16-year-old sister in South Lanarkshire.
Connor Gibson, 20, attacked Amber Gibson in woodland in Hamilton on November 26, 2021, repeatedly inflicting blunt force trauma to her head and body.
Gibson had denied the charges against him but was found guilty after a 13-day trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
Judge Lord Mulholland told him: “Your sister – the last person she saw was you strangling her. It was depraved and you will pay a heavy price for that.”
He told Gibson he faces a mandatory life sentence with the punishment part to be decided after considering the plea in mitigation on his behalf and a criminal justice social work report.
Stephen Corrigan, 44, will also be sentenced at Livingston High Court on Monday after being found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice and breach of the peace by intimately touching and concealing Amber’s body upon discovering her, instead of contacting the emergency services.
Corrigan, who was unknown to both Amber and Connor, had denied the charge and lodged a special defence of alibi.
Judge Mulholland told Corrigan he had been convicted of “horrific crimes”.
He said: “Coming across a young girl who had been strangled to death, she was naked… instead of alerting the authorities you decide … to handle her body all over from head to toe including areas that were intimate – private parts – and your DNA told the story.”
He told Corrigan he faces a “lengthy sentence”.
Amber was reported missing on the evening of Friday, November 26 and her body was discovered in Cadzow Glen at about 10.10am on November 28.
Gibson was arrested three days later, on December 1, and, the day before his arrest, posted a chilling tribute to the sister he had murdered, writing on Facebook: “Amber, you will fly high for the rest of time. We will all miss you. Especially me. I love you ginger midget. GBFN (goodbye for now) X”.
The forensic pathologist who carried out the post-mortem examination on Amber’s body told the court she was found covered in mud and the cause of death was “compression of the neck”.
Jurors also heard other forensic evidence that “widespread blood staining” on Gibson’s jacket was compatible with Amber and his DNA was also found on her shorts, worn as underwear, which had been “forcibly torn” off.
The court heard that Gibson, also known by the surname Niven, did not seem emotional as he spoke to his and Amber’s former foster father, Craig Niven, on the day Amber’s body was found.
Mr Niven and his wife had fostered the siblings since Amber was three and her brother was five. The couple were granted permanent care of the pair a few years later.
At the time of Amber’s murder, Connor was living at the Blue Triangle homeless hostel in Hamilton, while Amber was at the town’s Hillhouse children’s home.