The murder of Amber Gibson by her brother, Connor Gibson, shocked the neighbourhood and left an enduring impression on the hearts of everyone who knew her.
The grisly specifics of the crime were made public during the subsequent trial, revealing Stephen Corrigan’s sinister involvement.
The tragic occurrence left a lasting impact on Hamilton, and it’s possible that the community will never fully recover from losing a young life.
Despite this horrific catastrophe, there remains some hope for recovery and resolution in the pursuit of justice.
Inside the shocking crime
The court found 20-year-old Connor Gibson guilty of attacking his sister Amber on November 26, 2021, in a Hamilton wooded area.
He stripped her of her clothes, sexually abused her with the intention of raping her, severely injured her with blunt force to the head and body, and then strangled her to death.
The discovery and a desperate search
Amber was reported missing by the neighbourhood and the police on the evening of November 26, 2021, which raised a lot of concern and anxiety.
The optimism that she would be found safe and sound diminished over time.
Two days later, on November 27, 2021, a devastating discovery disturbed the serene Cadzow Glen.
Mud-covered Amber’s lifeless body exposed the dreadful things she had to go through in her final moments. It was a terrifying and upsetting sight.
A disturbing farewell
Unsettlingly, the day before his arrest, Connor Gibson wrote a heartrending Facebook tribute to his sister.
The friendly language in the post was uncomfortable because it concealed a sinister truth from the reader.
This Facebook post gave readers a glimpse into Connor’s dark psyche and showed how drastically different his real self was from the horrific crimes he had committed.
The forensic and DNA evidence
Amber’s body was examined post-mortem by a forensic pathologist, who testified in court throughout the trial.
She had “compression of the neck,” which pointed directly to strangling as the cause of death, according to the terrible details that emerged.
Connor Gibson was linked to the crime scene by devastating evidence produced by forensic experts.
He had “widespread blood staining” on his jacket, which forensic scientists determined to be Amber’s blood.
Her brutally torn shorts, which she had been using as knickers, also had his DNA.
The forensic evidence was overwhelming, showing that Stephen Corrigan’s DNA was present in 39 different locations on Amber’s body, including private areas, creating greater concerns about his involvement.
Troubled relationships and foster care
The former foster father of Amber and Connor, Craig Niven, spoke about their strained bond while explaining why he dreaded leaving the kids alone.
Since Connor was five and Amber was three, the Nivens have been caring for the siblings on a permanent basis.
When Amber Gibson was killed, Connor was living at Hamilton’s Blue Triangle Homeless Hostel while Amber was a resident of the Hillhouse Children’s Home.
The mysterious phone messages
A phone discovered in Connor Gibson’s hands was examined by Peter Benson, a member of Police Scotland’s cybercrime unit, during the trial.
This phone played a key role in providing light on the circumstances leading up to Amber Gibson’s murder.
There were questions about what had transpired in the days prior to the discovery of Amber Gibson’s death due to the texts made from the phone to a Snapchat group and Amber Gibson herself.
The user was actively looking for ways to circumvent police monitoring, according to the phone’s search history, which further complicated the inquiry.
Stephen Corrigan’s involvement and a conviction with denials
It became clear during the trial that 45-year-old Stephen Corrigan was also implicated in the crime.
After discovering Amber’s body some time after her murder, the court found him guilty of trying to obstruct justice and disturbing the peace by improperly touching and concealing Amber’s body.
Despite Stephen Corrigan’s denial of the allegations and his defence of an alibi, the evidence at hand resulted in his conviction.
His father, William Corrigan, testified in court, claiming that his son was at their residence in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire.
He tries to defend his son’s innocence while the murder is being committed.
The verdict was delivered and a delayed sentencing
Judge Mulholland was outspoken and unwavering in his criticism of Stephen Corrigan throughout the trial. He publicly acknowledged that his acts severely troubled and horrified him.
The terrible death of a little child made Corrigan’s meddling with the site of the murder even more repugnant.
There was no question in the judge’s view regarding the severity of the penalty Corrigan deserved because he tampered with the evidence and declined to ask for assistance from the police.
Due to the severity of the offences committed by Connor Gibson and Stephen Corrigan, the judge postponed the sentencing until September 4.
This delay gave time for full background checks and arguments in mitigation.
To ensure that justice was properly administered in the murder of Amber Gibson, the court had to take into account all pertinent circumstances and factors.
The judge sought to make sure that the sentence he meted out was fair and just, taking into account the seriousness of the offenders’ crimes and how they had affected the victim and her loved ones.
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