A MAN has appeared in court charged with murdering reputed Scottish gangster Martin Hamilton.
James Laurence Farrelly, 51, appearance on petition at Livingston Sheriff Court on Monday followed the discovery of Hamilton’s remains in a wood in West Lothian in December.
A Crown Office spokesman said Farley, from Blackburn, West Lothian, made no plea or declaration during the brief private hearing before Sheriff Peter Hammond.
He was remanded in custody pending further inquiries and is expected to by fully committed for trial at a second appearance next week.
Hamilton, from Glasgow, was previously one of Scotland’s most wanted men and was known as the “Blackhill Butcher”, after the city housing scheme from which he operated.
He had been on Police Scotland’s most-wanted list before he was jailed for life in 2000 for a string of offences including drug dealing, torture, abduction and sodomy.
The trial jury heard Hamilton, from Maryhill, Glasgow, was a dangerous homosexual who regularly abducted young men and raped them at gunpoint.
Recommending he serve a minimum of nine years in prison, Judge, Lord Kingarth, told Hamilton he had taken “sadistic pleasure in the infliction of pain and the inspiration of real terror” and added: “You pose a substantial danger to the public”.
The 53-year-old went missing in April last year after being released from prison on licence in September 2014.
Police offered a £2000 reward for information about his whereabouts and described him as “dangerous”.
His body was found beside the Five Sister’s Business Park near West Calder on 17 December and detectives launched a murder inquiry a few days later.
A post-mortem examination established he had suffered serious injuries which led to his death.