Highlands & Islands

Gloves key to man's appeal over 1990 murder

DNA generic
Image caption Traces of DNA recovered from the gloves were tested

A pair of white gloves are key to a man's appeal against his conviction for a murder in Invergordon 20 years ago.

James Casey, 45, from Invergordon, in the Highlands, was ordered to serve at least 11 years of a life sentence for the death of Ian MacBeth, 37, in 1990.

Casey claims he was acting as lookout and was wearing the gloves to signal to an accomplice to rob Mr MacBeth. He denies he killed the father-of-two.

Following a three day hearing, appeal judges will issue a written ruling.

During the hearing at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, Casey's legal team argued that new DNA tests cast doubt on his conviction.

Judges heard that the cotton gardening gloves revealed traces which matched Casey's DNA.

Mr MacBeth was leaving the Invergordon Social and Recreational Club when he was robbed of the night's takings of £1,260.

Two-man job

He was later found battered and handcuffed to a tree.

At his trial in January 1991, Casey blamed co-accused George McNairn for the violence.

But a jury believed McNairn was the one wearing the gloves and acting as lookout.

Advocate depute David Young QC, for the Crown, said Casey could have worn the gloves at a different time.

He also said the prosecution had always maintained that the murder was a two-man job.

Casey was freed after serving 11 years of a life sentence, but just weeks later he robbed a post office and was given a further 14-year sentence.

No date has been fixed for Lady Paton and Lords Clarke and Brodie to give their decision.

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