Graham McGill: Mary McLaughlin killer jailed for life after DNA breakthrough

Convicted rapist Graham McGill has been jailed for life for the murder of a “trusting and friendly” mother more than 36 years ago – after being snared through a DNA breakthrough.

By Gary Flockhart
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 1:03 pm
Mary McLaughlin, left, and her Partick flat in September 1984. Photos Crown Office.

McGill, 59, was an inmate at HMP Edinburgh on temporary release when he strangled Mary McLaughlin, 58, at her home in Partick, Glasgow in 1984.

The mother-of-11 had enjoyed a night out drinking and playing dominoes at different bars on Wednesday September 26 of that year and was last seen at about 10.45pm heading to a chip shop on her way home.

McGill strangled her with her own dressing gown cord and her body was found days later by one of her sons.

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Sexual predator found guilty of murdering woman in 1984

McGill was convicted following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow last month.

Ms Mclaughlin’s death sparked a major police investigation, but the cold case remained unsolved until modern DNA techniques placed McGill in her flat with a greater than billion-to-one likelihood, the trial heard.

McGill’s ex-wife, Suzanne Russell, also told jurors that in 1988, he had confessed to murdering a woman because he “just wanted to know what it felt like”.

He was sentenced at the High Court in Aberdeen on Tuesday to life imprisonment and will have to spend 14 years behind bars before any possible release on licence.

David Green, Procurator Fiscal for Homicide and Major Crime, said: “Unresolved homicides are never closed, and the Crown is committed to working with police to bring these cases to court wherever possible.”

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