Footprint found on Amber Gibson’s bra ‘matched brother’s shoe’

A forensic scientist told the High Court in Glasgow that she had analysed a mark on the undewear.

Neil Pooran
Wednesday 12 July 2023 16:36 BST
The trial is contuing at the High Court in Glasgow (Jane Barlow/PA)
The trial is contuing at the High Court in Glasgow (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Archive)

A footprint found on the bra of Amber Gibson appeared to match a shoe belonging to her brother, who is accused of sexually assaulting and murdering her, a court has heard.

A forensic scientist told the trial at the High Court in Glasgow she had analysed a mark on a bra near where the body of 16-year-old Amber was found.

Laura Wilcock said this appeared to match a shoe found at accommodation used by the teenager’s brother, Connor Gibson.

Gibson, 20, is alleged to have assaulted Amber Gibson, removing her clothes and repeatedly inflicting blunt force trauma to her head and body at Cadzow Glen in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, on November 26 2021.

There was an agreement in patterns

Laura Wilcock, forensic scientist

A second man, Stephen Corrigan, 44, is also standing trial.

He is accused of discovering Amber’s body between November 26 and 28 last year but instead of alerting police, he is alleged to have inappropriately touched her and then concealed her body.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to all charges against them, with Corrigan’s defence agent Rhonda Anderson submitting a special defence of alibi on his behalf.

Under questioning from advocate depute Richard Goddard KC, Ms Wilcock said the mark was on the left side of the George bra.

She analysed four pairs of shoes, with a pair of Adidas Gazelles belonging to Connor Gibson among these.

Mr Goddard asked the forensic scientist: “The mark you found between the bra and the footwear matched the Adidas Gazelle training shoes found at the Blue Triangle (accommodation).”

Ms Wilcock said: “We don’t give the term ‘matched’, there was an agreement in patterns.”

The forensic scientist was also questioned by Rhonda Anderson, representing Corrigan.

She asked: “The three pairs of footwear from Stephen Corrigan were eliminated from having made the mark?” to which she replied, “yes”.

Ms Wilcock answered “yes” when asked if the mark could have been caused by one of Connor Gibson’s shoes.

She also said the mark was found on the inside of the bra, suggesting it was not being worn at the time.

Prosecutors also accuse Gibson – who is also known by the surname Niven – of compressing Amber’s neck with his hands and strangling her with the intent to rape her.

Gibson is further accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by disposing of bloodstained clothes, and calling the children’s home where his sister was staying and pretending she was still alive.

The trial also heard evidence from Detective Inspector Stephen McGrath, who had interviewed Corrigan in connection with Amber’s murder.

The advocate depute said: “You would be aware that a match for the DNA of Stephen Corrigan was found on the swabs which were on multiple areas of the dead body of Amber Gibson?”

The detective inspector replied: “That’s correct”, going on to say that Corrigan became a suspect in the investigation.

The advocate depute asked the detective inspector about the interview, which took place in January 2022 at Helen Street police station.

They read out a transcript of parts of the interview, where Mr McGrath said that Corrigan’s DNA was found on several different parts of Amber’s body, including her breasts, buttocks and thighs.

The transcript showed that when asked for an explanation, Corrigan said “it’s a shock, it’s a shock to me.”

During the interview, he repeatedly said he did not know why his DNA was found on Amber’s body, at one point saying he was at a “complete loss”.

Asked if he had been to the area where Amber’s body was found, he said: “I have maybe dropped into the bush for a pee if I’ve had a drink or something.”

He also told police he had “nothing to hide”.

Jurors were shown the full video recording of the police interview, which lasted more than two and a half hours.

In the video, Mr McGrath repeatedly asks Corrigan for an explanation as to why his DNA is on Amber’s body – with Corrigan saying he does not know.

Ms Anderson asked him about whether elements of Corrigan’s alibi were examined by the police, but Mr McGrath said he was not involved in the investigation after this point.

The trial, before Lord Mulholland, continues.

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