High risk convicted rapist will serve life for murdering Bellshill man

A high risk, convicted rapist who brutally murdered a man in a premeditated knife attack in Bellshill was jailed for life today

A judge ordered that Richard Wotherspoon must serve at least 17 years in prison for the murder of his victim.

Lord Armstrong told Wotherspoon (33): "You have pleaded guilty to the murder of Samuel Hamilton with a bladed weapon. You inflicted five stab wounds on your victim."

One of the knife wounds penetrated the neck of Mr Hamilton (56) and damaged a carotid artery and jugular vein.

Lord Armstrong said at the High Court in Edinburgh: "This crime was premeditated by you. You went out looking for your victim armed with a knife and with the intention of causing him injury. You had previously told others of your intention to do him harm."

The judge said: "You have been assessed as representing a maximum risk of re-offending and as presenting a serious risk of harm to others."

The court heard that Wotherspoon has amassed an extensive criminal record involving 33 previous convictions, including for rape in 2006.

Lord Armstrong said that Wotherspoon's actions had caused "devastating loss and emotional harm" to relatives of the victim.

The judge said: "Nothing I can say or do can compensate for their loss.”

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