Highlands & Islands

Man fails in 1990 Invergordon murder appeal

DNA generic
Image caption Casey's legal team said new DNA tests cast doubt on his conviction

A man's appeal against his conviction for a murder in Invergordon 20 years ago has failed.

James Casey, 46, from Invergordon, 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 an accomplice robbed and killed the father-of-two.

Following a three day hearing, appeal judges have issued a written ruling refusing his claim.

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 white gloves worn by the lookout to signal to an accomplice 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.

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.

During the appeal hearing, 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.

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