Man who murdered girlfriend in ‘beyond sadistic’ killing jailed for minimum of 23 years

A man has been jailed for a minimum of 23 years after being found guilty of the “beyond sadistic” murder of his girlfriend.

The “broken and lifeless body” of young mother Claire Inglis, 28, had no fewer than 76 separate sites of injury when she was found at her home in Stirling in November 2021.

Christopher McGowan (pictured), 28, was found guilty of the murder following a trial at the High Court in Stirling last month.

Judge Michael O’Grady jailed McGowan for life and ordered him to serve a minimum of 23 years behind bars when he sentenced him at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

It is understood McGowan was on bail at the time of the murder.

In a sentencing statement later published online, Judge O’Grady said: “To those who have not listened to the evidence in this trial, it is difficult to truly convey the utter brutality of the death you inflicted on Claire Inglis.

“By the time her broken and lifeless body was found, she had no fewer than 76 separate sites of injury.

“There is no need for me to dwell on the detail; there are those present today who have already heard too much to bear.

“The fact is, this young woman was not only murdered; she was subjected to nothing short of torture.

“I shudder to imagine what her last minutes were like. To describe what you did as sadistic falls woefully short of the mark. It was beyond sadistic.”

The judge said that while listening to evidence McGowan had shown “not a flicker of emotion, not a hint of distress, not a shadow of remorse”.

He said McGowan has a long record of offending, beginning around 14 years ago, comprising some 39 previous convictions.

Scotland’s procurator fiscal for homicide, Moira Orr, said the family of Ms Inglis have been left “devastated”.

She said: “This is a heartbreaking case of the murder of a young mother, Claire Inglis, by her abusive partner.

“Christopher McGowan showed cruelty and contempt for Claire, and his actions have left her family devastated.

“As prosecutors, we have worked to deliver justice for Claire. The case was carefully investigated by COPFS working with Police Scotland, demonstrating that McGowan had displayed aggressive and controlling behaviour towards Claire prior to her murder.

“By not accepting responsibility for his actions, McGowan made Claire’s family go through the ordeal of a trial. Our prosecution team unpicked his deception, and this has resulted in his conviction for murder.

“Our thoughts are now of Claire, and we offer condolences to everyone who loved her.”

Detective Inspector Will Harley of Forth Valley CID said: “Claire had a young family when her life was ended by this horrific attack.

“Her loved ones have been left absolutely devastated and our thoughts remain with them at this extremely difficult time.

“This was a horrendous crime which involved significant levels of violence.

“McGowan cruelly took Claire’s life, showing complete disregard for her, her family, and her friends.

“Violence of this nature has no place in our society, and we will continue to work tireless to bring perpetrators to justice.”

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