Police hunt knife man over headless murder

POLICE ISSUED a national alert yesterday for a man wanted for questioning over the murder, dismembering and decapitation of a teenager.

They submitted evidence to the prosecuting authorities linking the killing of Barry Wallace, 18, of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, to William Beggs, jailed for six years in 1991 for a knife attack on Brian Quinlan, whom he met at a gay nightclub in Glasgow.

Police patrols in Kilmarnock have been stepped up and local people have been advised not to go out alone after dark and to avoid contact with strangers. Last Wednesday, Mr Wallace's head was discovered on an Ayrshire beach, 10 days after one of his limbs was found in Loch Lomond, 80 miles away.

Mr Wallace's torso has not yet been found and it is not known at what point he died after going missing.

In 1987, Beggs, who lives in Kilmarnock, was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering Barry Oldham, 28, whose body was found on the North Yorkshire moors. At his trial, Beggs had pleaded self-defence, claiming Mr Oldham had made homosexual advances during a camping trip.

During his 1987 trial at Teesside Crown Court, Beggs additionally faced a number of charges of unlawful woundings relating to students and a retired head teacher. He was convicted on two of these counts. However, the murder conviction was quashed in 1989 because the appeal court decided that Beggs' trial had been seriously prejudiced by the trial judge's decision to allow the jury to hear details of the other wounding charges.

Beggs, 36, was last seen near his home two days before it was raided with battering rams by police on Friday. Since then the former council house has been sealed off by police. Beggs, originally of Co Down in Northern Ireland, moved to Kilmarnock in 1990.

There he became a housing officer with Kilmarnock District Council and was living in his present home when Mr Quinlan escaped naked from his first-floor window covered in blood after being attacked.

Beggs' whereabouts are unknown and last night Strathclyde Police would neither confirm nor deny that he was their prime suspect.

In a three-line statement a spokesman noted merely that a report had been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal "in respect of a named individual". Under Scottish law, the police are required to keep the Procurator Fiscal notified of developments in a criminal investigation.

A spokesman for the Crown Office in Scotland declined to explain why the police had yet to circulate a photograph of Beggs or a description of him even though, it is understood, other police forces are seeking the suspect.

It is also not known why Beggs did not become the focus of police attention until Friday, nearly a fortnight after the first body parts were discovered in Loch Lomond. Mr Wallace was reported missing on 6 December after he failed to return home from a night out.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'