A murderer who stuffed a woman’s dead body in rubbish bins has failed in a bid to have his conviction quashed.
Steven Jackson, who repeatedly stabbed mum-of-three Kimberley MacKenzie before dismembering her remains, instructed lawyers to go to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh and argue that he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
The killer, 41, was handed a life sentence at the High Court in Livingston in January 2017 for killing Ms MacKenzie in Montrose on October 27 2015.
Jackson used two knives, a hammer and a large paint scraper when he assaulted 37-year-old Ms MacKenzie.
The day after the brutal assault, Jackson chopped up her body in a bath and with the assistance of Michelle Higgins, 29, dumped the body parts in four bins in Montrose. Higgins was jailed for eight years for helping to dispose of Ms MacKenzie’s body.
On Tuesday defence advocate Donald Findlay QC told appeal judges Lord Carloway, Lord Brodie and Lord Drummond Young that his client’s conviction was unsafe.
He said a witness had given evidence against Jackson which was irrelevant to the proceedings, potentially prejudicing jurors against his client.
He argued the evidence could portray Jackson as being somebody likely to commit a crime.
Mr Findlay said the law required Lady Rae, the presiding judge, to stop the trial. But the advocate said because Lady Rae hadn’t abandoned the trial, jurors could have become prejudiced against his client.
He said the judge’s inaction created a miscarriage of justice against Jackson.
But prosecution lawyer Ashley Edwards QC argued that Lady Rae acted correctly. The court heard the judge told jurors to disregard the irrelevant evidence. The Crown argued the actions taken during the trial eliminated the potential for a miscarriage of justice.
The judges agreed with the submissions made by Ms Edwards.
Montrose councillor Tommy Stewart today welcomed the news the appeal had been unsuccessful, adding: “I said from the outset that I didn’t think he should have been granted this appeal. I’m glad that the court decided against it.
“I don’t think Ms MacKenzie’s family will ever get closure from this — it will always be in the back of their minds.
“This might allow them to grieve in peace now, though.”