Man dumped body of victim in wheelie bin and set it alight after murder

Jude McPhie enlisted the help of accomplice Christopher O'Reilly to dispose of William Leiper's body after killing him in an attack in Pollok.

Glasgow man Jude McPhie dumped body of William Leiper in wheelie bin and set it alight after murder Police Scotland

A man who dumped his victim in a wheelie bin that was set alight after murdering him has been jailed for life.

Jude McPhie, 42, killed William Leiper, 31, before his corpse was dragged to a nearby park. 

A jogger and a dog walker went on to make the gruesome discovery of the still smouldering remains.

Mr Leiper’s body had been so badly charred that expert anthropologists were needed to help identify him. 

McPhie pled guilty to murder at the High Court in Glasgow. 

He admitted attacking Mr Leiper at the thug’s flat in Hartstone Road in the city’s Pollok between August 2 and 3 2021.

In sentencing him to a minimum punishment period of 18 years, Judge Lord Young said: “Only you know for sure what caused you to launch the murderous attack on him.

“You told the author of your social work report that an argument broke out and you were attacked by him.

“Nothing in the written narration confirms that. It is clear from the injuries that this was a sustained and vicious attack involving a hammer.

“He was heard begging you to stop the attack.

“After murdering him, you tried to evade justice by cleaning the area and arranging to dispose the body with your co-accused.”

Christopher O’Reilly, 27, pled guilty to attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

He was given a sentence of five years and five months.

Lord Young said: “You set fire to his body and left him in woods to find. This was the final indignity for his family.”

Prosecutor Derick Nelson told how Mr Leiper had been an associate of McPhie and O’Reilly.

In the early hours of August 2, Mr Leiper was said to have turned up at McPhie’s home “unannounced” and demanded money.

Later that night, the men were upstairs together with a woman downstairs.

She went on hear Mr Leiper “cry out” and shouting: “What are you doing, mate?”

Mr Leiper – described as “terrified” – was also heard being struck more than once.

McPhie yelled at him: “You’ve been at it for weeks.”

Mr Leiper at one point stated: “Mate, please stop.”

The same woman later spotted McPhie outside the house with what appeared to be the body of the victim lying on the doorstep.

McPhie shouted on O’Reilly – who was also in the street – for “help”.

The pair went to a local petrol station where McPhie bought lighter fluid and two bottles of bleach.

Over the next couple of days, neighbours noticed an “unusual burning smell” coming from a fire in the rear garden of the house.

In the early hours of August 4, two figures were caught struggling to drag a green wheelie bin in the direction of Househill Park.

Mr Nelson said it appeared to be baring “significant weight”.

Around 7.30am, a dog walker spotted what she initially thought was “a smouldering log or burning rubbish”.

She went on to stop a jogger, who believed it could instead be a body.

Mr Nelson added: “A 999 call prompted the arrival of police, who saw the charred remains.”

The court heard a large part of the body had been “burnt beyond all recognition”. Litter and other items had been dumped around it.

As a major murder probe was sparked, McPhie went on to tell one of his sisters: “He is a bully and he’ll not be bullying anybody else.”

He was also described as “ranting and raving” with another relative and admitted he had “murdered” Mr Leiper.

The court heard Mr Leiper’s cause of death was marked as “unascertained”, but that there were signs of “multiple blunt force trauma” to the head.

The indictment stated that O’Reilly – along with others – bought bleach and lighter fluid to destroy evidence

Attempts were made to clean blood at the house with clothes and a hammer burned in a garden. Part of a bloodstained mattress was also ditched.

The body of Mr Leiper is then said to have been removed from the murder scene and transported in a wheelie bin to nearby Househill Park in Pollok, where it was torched.

McPhie also pled guilty to attempting to defeat the ends of justice, but the claims he helped move the body and set it alight were deleted.

Brian McConnachie KC, defending McPhie, told the sentencing that the privately educated once promising rugby player acted out after “a culmination of a number of relatively recent occasions when there had been friction between them.”

He added that there had been an argument after Mr Leiper “demanded money” from McPhie.

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