Highlands & Islands

Murderer Ian Geddes awaits appeal release

A businessman who murdered his cousin after faking a will in an attempt to inherit £25,000 could be released while he challenges his conviction.

Ian Geddes smothered Charlie McKay with a pillow in Inverness in March 2003, then tried to make it look as though he had fallen down stairs.

Jailed for life in 2005, Geddes claims new medical evidence clears him.

Three appeal judges have agreed in principle to his release but have asked police to check his bail address first.

In his appeal, Geddes also hopes to benefit from the so-called "Cadder ruling" by the Supreme Court which outlaws the use of evidence obtained by police interviewing a suspect without a lawyer.

The 55-year-old, of Inverness, was to present his case at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh earlier this month.

But the Crown asked for more time as it was waiting for a Supreme Court decision in another case which, they argued, might have a bearing on Geddes's appeal.

Natural causes

Appeal judges Lord Hamilton, sitting with Lords Emslie and Marnoch, heard defence QC David Burns plead for Geddes's release, pending the outcome of his appeal.

The judges agreed in principle but delayed a final decision for 24 hours to allow police to check out the bail address in England.

In 2005, at the High Court in Edinburgh, a jury found Geddes guilty of murder after hearing claims that Mr McKay was drugged then smothered with a pillow in his bed then moved to the bottom of stairs at his home to make it look like an accident.

Mr McKay's death was initially put down as natural causes until his daughter found fake will documents in the house.

Passing sentence, Lord Bracadale ordered Geddes to serve at least 15 years before being eligible for parole.

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