Gallery of rogues banged up last month proves need for more Scots officers
These are the faces of some of the despicable criminals jailed in July for crimes committed in Scotland amid the lowest policing numbers in 14 years. A New Year’s Day killer who knifed her victim on his doorstep, a serial rapist and a burgling crook who was whacked over the head with a frying pan in self defence by a terrified woman are among those to have been dealt with across Scotland’s courts. It comes as the latest shock figures showed Police Scotland had 16,610 full-time equivalent officers on June 30, a drop of around 700 cops.
The rock-bottom recruitment levels were last seen in 2008, as force leaders and the Scottish Conservatives warn of a police funding and staffing crisis, with crime rates at risk of ‘spiralling out of control’. READ MORE: Man killed complete stranger by pushing her into the sea from Helensburgh pier ‘for fun’ Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Jamie Greene said: “These latest figures show a drop of more than 600 officers in less than a year, highlighting that policing is no longer an SNP Government priority – as the Chief Constable of Police Scotland has said himself.”
Here is an overview of some of the most reprehensible cases to have concluded over the past month and go to show why Scotland needs a viable police force fit to ensure justice is served.
Killer Stephanie Bowie knifed a man to death on his doorstep
Woman sentenced for murder – Erskine, Renfrewshire
A woman who was convicted of the New Year’s Day murder of Darren Russell in Erskine, Renfrewshire has been jailed for 16 years. Brute Stephanie Bowie, 29, was found guilty of murder, possession of a bladed article and an attempt to defeat the ends of justice at the High Court in Stirling. Russell, 21, died on the doorstep of his family home in Erskine after earlier being set on by Bowie.
Chief Inspector Christopher Nisbet, Senior Investigating Officer, said: “Stephanie Bowie is now facing the consequences of her actions. I hope this sentence sends a clear message that violence and the carrying of weapons is completely unacceptable. “Although it can’t change what has happened, I hope that this sentence brings at least a degree of closure for Darren’s family and friends.
Our thoughts remain with them at this extremely difficult time.”
Police Scotland has seen a significant downturn in staffing numbers
Man sentenced for rape and sexual offences in Edinburgh and East Lothian
A 39-year-old man who committed rape and various sexual offences in Edinburgh and East Lothian between 2006 and 2017 was handed 12 years at the High Court in Stirling last month. His offences were committed at various addresses, including Edinburgh and two towns in East Lothian. Pointing out the vital role cops played in catching the twisted thug Detective Inspector Kevin Hughes, the senior investigating officer, said: “I want to commend the victims of his attacks for being brave enough to come forward and I hope that his sentencing brings them some kind of closure.
“I also want to acknowledge the work done by detectives and criminal justice partners to bring Anderson to justice. “We always take reports of sexual crime seriously and deal with them in a professional and sensitive manner while providing support for those involved. “I would urge anyone who wants to report a sexual crime, no matter the length of time that has passed, to get in touch with us.”
Derek Wellington, 34, was given ten years behind bars
Man sentenced to 10 years for domestic abuse offences – Edinburgh and East Kilbride
A man who was convicted of domestic abuse offences was also jailed for 10 years in July.
Derek Wellington, 34, pled guilty to a series of violent and dangerous offences at the High Court in Glasgow and was later sentenced in Stirling. The incidents took place in Edinburgh and East Kilbride between August and September 2021. Soeaking after the successful conviction etective Chief Inspector Martin McGhee said: “Derek Wellington is now facing the consequences of his reckless and appalling behaviour.
This was a complex investigation by a team of dedicated officers, working closely with a number of other partner agencies, to ensure that justice was done. “I hope that this sentencing today goes some way to giving other victims of abuse the courage to speak out. Domestic crime, in all its forms, has no place in our society and remains one of Police Scotland’s top priorities.
“If you are experiencing abuse, we want you to know that you are not alone. We encourage you to contact Police Scotland on 101 or seek support and advice from one of our partner agencies. “Any disclosures made will be investigated thoroughly with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity to bring perpetrators to justice.”
Crook whacked with frying pan after breaking into older couple’s home
Bungling Darren Gowran was jailed for two years after he admitted assaulting the couple and breaking into their Stirling home during a drug-fuelled crime spring in March.
Her forcing his way into the Stirling home of Armand and Liga Mierina while they slept at around 1.30am on March 14 and after a struggle ensued was hit over the head with a frying pan. Falkirk Sheriff Court heard the couple, aged 63 and 57, were awoken by the sound of “loud kicking at the front door” of their Cowane Street home. Gowran in the hallway had ahold of a handbag before a struggle broke out where Armand was hit in the face before his wife came to his aid.
Fiscal depute Smith said: “As a result of the accused struggling violently with Mr Mierina, Mrs Mierina obtained a frying pan from the kitchen and struck the accused on the back of the head with it.”
Dangerous driver killed Scots mum and teacher
A reckless driver who killed a teacher after a faulty trailer came away from his pickup truck was also put behind bars at the High Court in Glasgow last month. Raymond Lamb described by a judge as being “grossly negligent” following the death of Yvonne Lumsden, 35, on July 12 2019. The 31 year-old was on the road in his Mitsubishi L200 pick-up while towing a trailer which had a defective braking system and attachment.
It eventually came off the vehicle before smashing into Yvonne’s Volkswagen Polo on the A948 near Ellon, Aberdeenshire. The mum suffered fatal injuries while her husband Stuart Lumsden and two young children in the car were also hurt.
Killer James ‘Porky’ O’Rourke
Murderer who killed fellow lag in jail will never get out
A convicted murderer was lockedup for another 23 years after choking a fellow prison inmate to death in a “brutal execution” with a torn bedsheet. James O’Rourke, 52, who is described as one of Scotland’s most dangerous prisoners, has already been behind bars for 30 years for a string of offences since he was originally convicted for killing a man in Airdrie in 1992.
He went on to throttle Dean Ramsey at HMP Glenochil on January 9 2021. Attempts were made to help Ramsey at the jail before he was rushed to hospital – he never recovered and died two days later having suffered an unsurvivable brain injury. O’Rourke was described as “calm” after the murder and admitted he had used a “line” to kill Ramsey, referring to a torn bed sheet used to strangle him.
He was allowed to call his mother and told her, “I f****** tied him up and gave him the treatment.”
He was arrested and claimed he had not meant to kill Ramsey.