Proceeds of crime delay of carer who murdered teenager

Psychiatrists have been unable to complete a report on Edward Cairney who is serving a life sentence.

Lawyers acting for a carer who murdered a vulnerable woman have been given more time in a proceeds of crime case to obtain a psychiatric assessment of their client.

Defence advocate Mark Moir told judge Lord Braid on Monday that psychiatrists have been unable to complete a report on 79-year-old Edward Cairney.

His client and Avril Jones, 59, are currently serving life sentences for murdering Margaret Fleming, 19, sometime between December 1999 and January 2000.

The duo were supposed to look after Margaret. But Jones continued to claim £182,000 in benefits until it finally emerged that Margaret was missing in October 2016.

Police suspected the duo took Margaret’s life at their cottage in Inverkip, Renfrewshire.

However, her body has never been found.

Judge Lord Matthews told the couple they’d have to serve at least 14 years before they’d be able to apply for parole.

He told them: “Only you two know the truth. Only you know where her remains are.

“Margaret Fleming was a vulnerable young woman with evident difficulties. She was in your care and you breached the trust placed in you.”

Prosecutors have now brought a proceeds of action case against the pair.

The Crown are seeking £182,000 in benefits which were paid to Cairney and Jones in Margaret’s absence.

At a hearing last December, Mr Moir told judge Lord Burns that he was finding it very difficult to obtain instructions from Cairney.

He said: “He is not a well man at all. When I saw him last week he had deteriorated further to the extent that I found it extremely difficult to get anything resembling legal instructions.

“He is 79-years of age; he is in a wheelchair and he has multiple other health problems.”

On Monday, Mr Moir said the report wasn’t yet complete. Lord Braid arranged another procedural hearing to take place in the matter on April 26, 2021.

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