A gay man who murdered a teenager and dismembered his body has lost an appeal to clear his name.
William Beggs, 46, became known as the ‘Limbs in the Loch’ killer for the murder of 18 year-old Tesco worker Barry Wallace in December 1999.
It is thought he drugged and raped the teenager before dismembering his body. Wallace’s limbs and torso were found in Loch Lomond, while his head was washed up on an Ayrshire beach.
Beggs was jailed for life in October 2001 and ordered to serve at least 20 years in custody. After the murder, he escaped to Amsterdam where he eventually surrendered to police.
He claimed he was denied a fair trial because of publicity surrounding the case and was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
Following his conviction, he lodged an appeal against his conviction with the Appeal Court in July 2002.
Yesterday, three senior judges at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh ruled that his appeal should be refused.
The judges said: “The court has carefully considered the arguments submitted in relation to each of the various grounds of appeal… the conclusion to which it has come is that none of the grounds is well-founded. Accordingly, the appeal must be refused.”
Speaking after the Appeal Court’s decision, Les Brown, district procurator fiscal for Kilmarnock, said: “I am pleased that the Appeal Court has today refused the appeal against conviction. In doing so the court has concluded that Mr Beggs received a fair trial and was justly convicted of the horrific murder of Barry Wallace.
“I hope that the decision of the court will be of some comfort to Barry’s parents and brother, who have borne their loss with great dignity and fortitude. I have great admiration for them.”
Beggs worked in an Edinburgh call centre and lived in Kilmarnock, the town where Wallace was last seen on December 4th 1999.
A regular on the city’s gay scene, he once told a friend he liked to cruise in his car at night, looking to pick up “young guys”
He was jailed in 1987 for killing a barman he met in a gay club and was described by police as “a serial killer in the making”.
The 1987 conviction was later overturned on a technicality.
Beggs also served three years for drugging and slashing the leg of a man in 1991. The victim, who Beggs picked up in a gay bar, escaped by jumping from a window.