Teenager murderer sentenced to 20 years

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The Independent Online

A man has been sentenced to 20 years for murdering a teenager whose badly burned body was discovered near woods.

Robert Bayne, 21, had denied killing 17-year-old Zoe Nelson, who was found dead in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, on May 22 last year.



Last month a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh took three hours to find Bayne, of Wishaw, guilty. It returned a unanimous verdict.



As well as being given 20 years for murder, Bayne was given six years for attempting to defeat the ends of justice by setting fire to Zoe's body, washing and disposing of items of clothing worn during the murder, disposing of her mobile phone and falsely stating to police that another person had admitted to the crime.



The sentences are to be served concurrently.











Speaking on behalf of the family, Miss Nelson's aunt Shirley Nelson, 35, said: "For all these months of waiting for this time to come - longer than we've waited for anything before - we are disappointed with the sentence that we heard today."



She added: "We won't see Zoe again. Her life was cut short by the evil hands of Robert Bayne. They should go back to hanging: a life for a life."



The killer showed no emotion as judge Lady Dorrian passed sentence, in stark contrast to when he was sentenced on March 25. Then Bayne jumped to his feet as the guilty verdict was read out, shouting and swearing. Security guards wrestled him to the ground and restrained him as the court was cleared.



Bayne sat in silence today, flanked by three security guards, with three police officers waiting in the wings.



Defence counsel Neil Murray QC apologised on Bayne's behalf for the "physical distress" caused during the sentencing and emphasised Bayne's "hellish upbringing".



Lady Dorrian said: "This was an appalling crime which may properly be described as shocking. The social inquiry report makes for unsettling reading, showing a history of volatile behaviour from a young age."



Speaking after the trial outside the High Court in Edinburgh, Shirley Nelson noted how Bayne apologised for his behaviour during his sentencing but not for killing Miss Nelson.



She said: "He's always said he wasn't guilty right from the start, so it wasn't a surprise. They should keep him in jail forever."