Glasgow & West Scotland

Graeme Ferry death: Three men deny murder charge

Graeme Ferry
Image caption Graeme Ferry's body was found in Cleland on 12 September

Three men have appeared in court charged with murdering a man whose body was found buried in North Lanarkshire.

Andrew Shilliday, 38, Garry Smith, 33, and Michael Archibald, 30, are accused of killing Graeme Ferry, 25, in April.

Lisa McAteer, 30, and 27-year-old Pamela Sneddon also face charges, along with the three men, of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

All five deny the charges against them. The case, at the High Court in Glasgow, was continued until February.

Mr Ferry was last seen in his home town of Bellshill on 2 April. His body was found in the nearby Cleland area on 12 September.

'Transporting body'

Mr Shilliday, Mr Smith and Mr Archibald are charged with forcing Mr Ferry into a car at 66 John Bowman Gardens, Bellshill, on 2 April and murdering him during the course of a journey to Kirk O'Shotts.

It is also alleged that they concealed Mr Ferry's body within a wooded area at Kirk O'Shotts, then returned and removed personal effects and clothing from his body and disposed of them.

The three are also charged with transporting the body to an area of wasteland at Chapelknowe Road, Cleland, on a date between 2 and 5 April, digging a hole, placing Mr Ferry's body in it and covering his head and body with pieces of concrete, stones, debris, soil and similar materials.

It is alleged that on various occasions between 2 and 5 April, Mr Smith texted and called Mr Ferry's mobile and phoned his mother Janette Ferry to inquire if he had returned home.

The Crown also alleges that during the investigation into Mr Ferry's disappearance all three claimed he left the house in John Bowman Gardens at 01:00 to travel to Coatbridge.

It is alleged they did this with intent to induce the police to believe Mr Ferry was still alive when they last saw him.

They are also accused of disposing of a number of mobile phones between 5 April and 16 May, and disposing of the carpet from the boot area of the car allegedly used to transport Mr Ferry between 2 and 15 April.

It is also alleged that the three attempted to defeat the ends of justice by telling Ms McAteer and Ms Sneddon to say to police that Mr Ferry left 66 John Bowman Gardens at 01:00 on 2 April to go to Coatbridge to meet with an unknown man.

Mr Smith is also charged with supplying Mr Ferry with cannabis, Ecstasy, cocaine and Diazepam between 1 November 2010 and 2 April 2011.

Ms McAteer, from Bellshill, and Ms Sneddon, from Holytown, are accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by repeatedly failing to notify police of the abduction and murder of Mr Ferry and by telling them that he had left 66 John Bowman Gardens alone.

Advocate depute Iain McSporran, prosecuting, said: "There are ongoing areas of inquiry and we are not in a position to set a trial date."

Judge Lord Turnbull continued the case to a further preliminary hearing in February. No trial date has been fixed.

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