Hide this page
Beta

This is a new service. Your feedback will help us to improve it. 

Contact

Cases

Couple who murdered vulnerable woman ordered to pay back stolen benefits

A couple who murdered a vulnerable woman and continued to claim her benefits have been ordered to pay back the profits of the crime.

A couple who murdered a vulnerable woman and continued to claim her benefits have been ordered to pay back the profits of the crime.

Edward Cairney, 80, and Avril Jones, 61, were found guilty of murdering Margaret Fleming sometime between December 1999 and January 2000. They were supposed to be caring for the 19-year-old who lived with them in Inverkip, Inverclyde.

The pair continued to claim Ms Fleming’s benefits until she was reported missing in 2016.

At the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday, confiscation orders were granted against both Cairney and Jones.

For Jones, the order states she benefited by £182,000 and the confiscation order had been made for £3,473.20.

The Crown has the power to extend the order against Jones to seize money and assets she acquires in the future to pay back the full amount she made.

The order against Cairney shows he benefited by £24,347.98 and he will have to pay back the full amount.

Laura Buchan, Procurator Fiscal for Specialist Casework, said: "Edward Cairney and Avril Jones were entrusted with the care of Margaret Fleming, a vulnerable young woman. Instead, they murdered her, covered up their crime and continued to claim her state benefits.

"They were convicted and sentenced for their despicable crimes, but COPFS will not stop at prosecution and will use every tool available to ensure criminals pay for their actions.

"These confiscation orders mark the end of a long and complex investigation that involved painstaking work by police, prosecutors and forensic accountants to ensure all the criminal benefit held by Cairney and Jones was recovered."