Judges uphold murder convictions

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Three High Court Judges decided this week to uphold two men’s convictions for the murder of Liam Aitchison on Lewis in 2011.

A Criminal Appeal hearing was held at the High Court in Edinburgh today (Wednesday) to consider the merits of an appeal by 24 year old Johnathan Mackinnon and 23 year old Stefan Millar. But in the end the judges refused the appeal and upheld the convictions.

The pair were found guilty of the brutal murder of the 16 year old South Uist man in June 2013 following a three week trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

The hearing on Wednesday morning was the final part of the criminal appeal case lodged by both men’s legal teams.

The murder of Liam Aitchison in November 2011 shocked the community of the Western Isles.

Originally from South Uist, Liam had been living in Stornoway when he disappeared.

Days after he was reported missing, his body was discovered in a derelict house in Steinish, outside Stornoway. He had been stabbed at least 20 times.

The building, which was owned by Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL), has since been demolished and there are plans for a memorial garden at the site.

Liam’s memory will also live on through the work of St Jerome’s Orphanage in Kenya led by South Uist girl Gemma Steele.

Gemma is taking forward plans to create a water well in Liam’s name which will provide a vital resource to a whole village.