Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man guilty of Heather Stacey head-in-bag murder

Alan Cameron
Image caption Alan Cameron was convicted of murder by a High Court jury

A 56-year-old man has been found guilty of murdering his fiancee, dismembering her body and dumping her remains in bags around Edinburgh.

Alan Cameron was convicted of Heather Stacey's murder on a majority verdict at the High Court in Livingston.

Cameron denied murder but admitted hiding the 44-year-old's body for more than a year before disposing of it.

The mother-of-four's head was found in a bag on a cycle path on Hogmanay 2008 by a dog walker.

Cameron had denied murdering Ms Stacey, who was from Dingwall, at her flat in the Granton area of the city the previous year.

Judge Lord Matthews told Cameron: "It's apparent whatever happened that you treated this lady, who was entitled to look to you for love and support, like so much rubbish.

Image caption Ms Stacey was killed in 2007

He deferred sentence until 23 June. The court heard Cameron has served time for previous sexual offences.

Cameron had claimed his partner had died of natural causes when he was out buying chips for her.

He said he had panicked and had not contacted police at the time because of an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Cameron stayed in the flat with the body for months until in November 2008 he received a letter from Edinburgh City Council telling Ms Stacey that she was being evicted over unpaid rent.

He then chopped up her body and dumped it in bags.

Only 95% of Ms Stacey's body was ever found, with her left hand, part of a foot, and a total of 39 bones still missing.

Det Ch Insp William Guild, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "It is clear from his actions that Cameron is a callous and calculating individual, whose only thought after murdering Heather Stacey was how he could evade justice.

"For more than a year he carried on his life as normal while hiding Heather's body, before disposing of her remains in an utterly inhuman manner.

Image caption Ms Stacey's head was found in a bag in Hawthornvale path

"The verdict will hopefully provide some comfort to Heather Stacey's family, and I want to thank them for the assistance they gave police over the course of our investigation."

Morag McLaughlin, procurator fiscal for Lothian and Borders, said: "This was a very difficult case with huge legal challenges, not least because it was impossible to establish Heather Stacey's cause of death, due to the advanced stage of decomposition in which her body was found.

"However, it was always the Crown's view that the circumstances demonstrated that Alan Cameron had been responsible for Heather Stacey's death, as well as the dismemberment and disposal of her body to which he pleaded guilty.

"Wednesday's murder conviction follows painstaking work by police and prosecutors and I hope Heather Stacey's family will find some comfort in knowing her killer has been brought to justice."

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