A former hockey international who murdered a woman his wife suspected he was having an affair with was given a life sentence on Monday.
Craig Walker, 41, left Lauren Wilson with 77 Injuries – including 29 stab wounds – during the attack at his flat in Renfrew on May 26, 2021.
The killing happened on the day of his ninth wedding anniversary to his wife.
The couple had split in the summer of 2020, but Walker had been set to return to the family home.
But, prosecutors said Ms Wilson, 34, a supermarket worker, was about to reveal the length of their affair and had tried contacting Walker’s wife, 38, on the morning of the attack.
Walker flew into a rage and, after luring Ms Wilson to his flat, battered, strangled and stabbed her before stuffing her corpse into a sports bag.
The ex-Scotland and Great Britain hockey player denied murder insisting the mum was hurt during a “frantic struggle”.
The first offender also said that he lied to Ms Wilson about having cancer in an attempt to “push her away”.
Walker was found guilty following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
Judge Lady Stacey sentenced him to at least 21 years behind bars.
She said: “You murdered an innocent young woman who was in a relationship with you – she must have trusted you.
“These actions are disgraceful.
“No one can know the pain and anguish and perhaps terror you inflicted on her.
“Lauren Wilson was a much-loved daughter, step daughter, sister and mother who had a group of loyal friends.
“Nothing I can say or do can take away the grief these people feel and always will feel.
“The consequences of what you did are devastating for her family and young daughter.
“Their grief is overwhelming… you have deprived the child her mother’s love and guidance.
“She is old enough to have memories of her mother but much too young to understand what has happened.
“Her family now have the responsibility of bringing up the child and shield her from what happened while being honest with her as well as grieve themselves.”
As Walker was being led from the dock into the cells a member of the public shouted: “Rot in hell you evil monster.”
The court heard from Ms Wilson’s mum Pauline Wilson, 61, who said that she became “frightened” after she did not pick up her daughter on the day of her death.
She told jurors that her daughter had said to her that she was going to a hospital appointment with Walker.
She said her daughter had told her she had “something important” to say to her which was “nothing to worry about”.
“I knew it was important as she wouldn’t leave her daughter without arrangements like a packed lunch or uniform,” Ms Wilson’s mum said.
“It was totally out of character – I was worried and getting distressed.”
A selection of text messages between the pair were read to the court.
In one, Ms Wilson said: “It’s okay mum, I’m not doing anything stupid or making an idiot of myself, I just really need your support at this moment.”
Another read: “I have lied to you, I’m sorry, I’m not at hospital at all, I just need some time alone to work things out, I will be back to get her.”
Prosecutor David Dickson asked Pauline Wilson if she had concerns about the texts.
She replied: “Yes, it was just totally out of character for Lauren – I was frightened – it was just not something she would do – she would never leave her daughter ever.”
Another message read: “I’m embarrassed mum, this my doing, I have been a total d***.”
Mr Dickson asked: “Is this something she would say?”
Pauline: “No, Lauren never even swore at me and would not use that kind of language.”
Walker’s wife told jurors that she married him in 2012.
They had split in 2020 but discussed reconciling and were due to go out for an anniversary meal on the night of the murder.
But, she recalled that month getting a friend request on Facebook from Ms Wilson.
The witness thought this was “strange” and quizzed her husband about her. He claimed to have known Ms Wilson “from years ago”.
Walker’s wife had also seen a text from Ms Wilson sent to her husband.
Mr Dickson asked her: “Did he say that he was in a relationship with her?”
She replied: “No, he denied it every time.”
The anniversary dinner was cancelled when the air traffic controller said he had been delayed cleaning a large “coffee stain” on his carpet.
He instead later brought back a takeaway meal – but left his wife’s home without eating anything.
Walker claimed in his evidence that Ms Wilson had a knife which he tried to get off of her.
Mr Dickson asked if Walker was suggesting that Ms Wilson had stabbed herself – cutting her jugular and carotid artery.
He replied: “There were three struggles, and there was sliding down the wall.
“I protracted the knife and there was a big fall in the bedroom – at the time I did not notice the injuries.”
Mr Dickson suggested that Walker had formed a “rouse or a lie” days before the day of Ms Wilson’s death in order to get her to his flat, which he denied.
Mr Dickson said: “She was going to tell your wife that you were together for longer than your wife knew.”
Walker replied: “That’s incorrect.”
The advocate depute asked why Walker lied about having cancer. He replied: “This was a Machiavellian act to push Lauren away.”
Walker also denied telling Ms Wilson that he had an appointment at the Beatson cancer hospital on the day of the murder.
A police officer told jurors how he discovered Ms Wilson’s body during an initial missing person hunt.
PC Stuart McDougall said he carried out a search of Walker’s flat after finally being allowed access by the killer.
Walker was described as “agitated and hesitant”.
PC McDougall recalled seeing a “figure” in a hockey bag in a bedroom.
The officer: “I asked Mr Walker what this was and he said: ‘That’s her’.
“He said: ‘She is in the bag’. I placed him in cuffs immediately.
“He stated that he was not resisting.”
The court heard Ms Wilson’s mutilated body was wrapped in bedding and what appeared to be black electrical tape.
Paramedics arrived, but Ms Wilson had already passed away.
Jurors were told a hoover, wipes as well as a mop and bucket were discovered in the bath as Walker tried to clean up what he had done.
Walker was also convicted of a separate charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country