Amber Gibson: Jury retires to consider verdict in trial – as brother faces murder charge

The jury in the trial of a man accused of sexually assaulting and murdering his 16-year-old sister has been sent out to begin its deliberations.

Connor Gibson, 20, is accused of attacking Amber Gibson in woodland in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, on 26 November 2021.

He is charged with removing her clothing, sexually assaulting her with the intention of raping her, inflicting blunt-force trauma to her head and body, and strangling her.

Gibson denies the charges against him and is on the 13th day of trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Amber was reported missing on the evening of Friday 26 November and her body was discovered in Cadzow Glen at about 10.10am on 28 November.

The forensic pathologist who carried out the post-mortem examination on Amber’s body told the court she was found covered in mud and the cause of death was “compression of the neck”.

Jurors also heard other forensic evidence that “widespread blood staining” on Gibson’s jacket was compatible with Amber and his DNA was also found on her shorts, worn as underwear, which had been “forcibly torn” off.

A police scene at Cadzow Glen park in Hamilton where the body of Amber Gibson was discovered at around 10.10am on Sunday. The 16-year-old left her home in the Hillhouse area of Hamilton at around 9.15pm on Friday evening and was reported missing later that night after she did not return home. Picture date: Wednesday December 1, 2021.

Image: Amber’s body was discovered in Cadzow Glen in November 2021

Giving evidence, Gibson’s former foster father Craig Niven had said he would not leave the siblings in each other’s company because they were “not a good mix”.

Mr Niven and his wife had fostered the siblings since Amber was three and her brother was five. The couple were granted permanent care of the siblings a few years later.

Mr Niven told the court he had not heard from his former foster son during Amber’s disappearance but, in a call on the day her body was discovered, Gibson told him the pair had “fallen out” when they saw each other two days previously.

Read more:

Connor Gibson on trial accused of sexually assaulting and murdering sister

Amber Gibson ‘had injuries consistent with being strangled’

Blood on brother Connor Gibson’s clothes ‘could indicate assault’

Also on trial is Stephen Corrigan, 45, who is accused of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by inappropriately touching and concealing Amber’s body instead of contacting the emergency services.

Corrigan, said in court not to be known to Gibson, also denies the charge and has lodged a special defence of alibi.

His father, William Corrigan, 79, told the court his son was at his home in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, that weekend after a fall on ice left his arm in a sling, and denied lying to protect him.

The court heard Corrigan told police he was at a “complete loss” to explain why his DNA was found on 39 areas of Amber’s body, including her breasts, buttocks and thighs.

Giving evidence, forensic biologist Alana Gunn said she believed this was from direct contact but could not rule out secondary transfer, and could not say whether or not it was present before or after Amber’s death.

Judge Lord Mulholland sent jurors out to consider their verdicts on Tuesday morning.

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