Highlands & Islands

Inverness man fails to quash murder conviction

Ian Geddes Image copyright Ciaran Donnelly
Image caption Ian Geddes denis murdering his cousin in Inverness

A man who has twice been jailed for life after separate juries convicted him of the same murder has failed to have his latest conviction quashed.

Ian Geddes, 59, was found guilty of killing his cousin Charles McKay in Inverness in March 2003 following a trial in 2005 and a re-trial in 2013.

Geddes, of Inverness, denies the murder and claims he is the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

He took his case to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

Judges have rejected his challenge and Geddes, who had spent more than a year on release from jail pending the appeal, has been returned to prison.

The Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Carloway, said: "Having regard to all the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death, the jury's verdict must be seen as an entirely reasonable one."

Geddes' lawyers had challenged his conviction arguing that the verdict returned against him was one that no reasonable jury, properly directed, could have returned.

A pillow

For more than a decade, Geddes has denied he was responsible for his cousin's death.

High Court juries have heard that ambulance personnel and police were called to Mr McKay's home in East MacKenzie Park, Inverness.

They found the electrician lying at the foot of a flight of stairs. Geddes, who stayed there from time to time, told them he had found his cousin there.

Although the first reaction was that Mr McKay had died from natural causes, suspicions were aroused when a letter emerged seeking to alter Mr McKay's will so that Geddes would inherit £25,000.

It was alleged that a pillow which had been in Mr McKay's bedroom was hurriedly thrown into a dustbin as refuse collectors came down the street.

At hearing at the Court of Criminal Appeal in December last year, Geddes' solicitor advocate John Scott QC said there was nothing that pointed to the use of a pillow in Mr McKay's death.

Advocate depute Andrew Stewart QC for the Crown said the flaw in the appeal grounds advanced was that they focused solely on the medical evidence and did not take into account the wider evidence.

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