Serial killer Angus Sinclair has failed in a bid to have his sentence reduced for the murders of two teenage girls in the 1970s.
Sinclair, 70, was locked up for life and told to serve at least 37 years – the longest minimum jail term ever imposed in a Scottish court – after he was convicted in 2014 of raping and murdering Christine Eadie and Helen Scott.
The 17-year-olds were brutally killed after a night-out at Edinburgh’s World’s End pub in October 1977, with their bodies discovered the following day in East Lothian.
He was found guilty of the crimes after a five-week trial and, on sentencing, judge Lord Matthews said Sinclair was a “dangerous predator, who is capable of sinking to the depths of depravity”.
The conviction brought to a conclusion one of Scotland’s most infamous unsolved cases and marked the first prosecution since changes to the country’s double jeopardy law.
The legal change meant Sinclair, who has been in prison since the 1980s, could be retried after the court case against him collapsed seven years previously.
The judge ordered him to spend a minimum of 37 years in jail – the same number of years that the families of the girls had waited for justice.
Last year, Sinclair dropped an appeal against the conviction but continued in a bid to have the term reduced, arguing it was “excessive”.
A hearing was held in November but judges have now refused the appeal, meaning the punishment part of Sinclair’s sentence will stand.