Triple murderer freed following stroke

Andrew Walker shot dead three of his comrades in a payroll robbery at an army barracks in 1985

A SOLDIER who carried out the cold-blooded execution of three comrades has been released from prison on compassionate grounds following a stroke.

Andrew Walker, 57, gunned down three army colleagues in a Lothians payroll hijacking in 1985.

He had seven years added to his 30-year tariff after he led a riot at Peterhead prison in 1986.

But the killer collapsed in his cell from a stroke in 2009 and was left severely disabled.

The £19,000 he stole – worth approximately £62,000 at today’s prices – was never recovered and is thought to have been buried in the hills.

Walker was transferred from Shotts prison to Wishaw General Hospital, North Lanarkshire, where he was kept under round-the-clock supervision.

But it has now emerged that last month he was moved to a care home, the identity of which is being kept secret.

A Scottish Government spokesman confirmed Walker had been released on compassionate grounds.

The spokesman said such prisoners are either considered by doctors to be ‘severely incapacitated’ or have only up to three months to live.

Walker was jailed following a payroll hijacking of Glencorse Barracks, in Penicuik, Midlothian, in 1985.

He was working in the transport section of the Scottish Infantry Division Depot at the time.


The Royal Scots corporal had signed out a submachine gun from the Royal Scots armoury for the raid.

Three soldiers, Major David Cunningham, 56, Sergeant Terence Hosker, 39, and Private John Thomson, 25, arrived in Penicuik town centre on 17 January.

They were in a military Land Rover to collect £19,000 for the barracks’ payroll.

The trial judge called the murders " a calculated crime"

As the soldiers drove away with the money, walker approached Private Thomson and asked for a lift back to camp.

He then produced the gun in the car, and it is thought he shot Sgt Hosker in the chest after the sergeant tried to tackle him.

Private Thomson was then told to drive to a quiet track to Glencorse reservoir.

The Major was shot in the head, leaving a trail of which which leaked from the vehicle into the snow.

Walker then forced the private to move the bodies of his dead comrades before shooting him in the head and abdomen.

Walker’s commanding officer, Colonel Clive Fairweather, said: “It was where he always planned to execute them.

“No one was ever going to get away.”

In a report after Walker was sentenced to 30 years in jail, judge Lord Grieve said: “A person who could bring himself to do what he did is not fit to live in a society which still regards itself as civilised.

“This was a calculated crime. The accused, if he was to achieve his purpose, had to kill.

“I am quite satisfied that the crime was carefully planned, and I am also quite sure that the substance of the evidence given by Walkerwas a tissue of lies.”

Another judge, Lord Reed, said said the muders carried ‘exceptional gravity’.

In 2002,Walkerhad his sentence cvut by three years at the Court of Appeal.

His lawyers argued that the 30-year sentence was ‘excessive’.



  1. Does no-one ever consider the utter devestation to the families to read this in the newspapers, I hope the b******d lives a long long time & suffers each & every minute, I am still suffering 26 years 11 months & 11 days later, no-one ever asks how we feel, the first I knew of this was reading it in the papers, my Son is shattered

  2. I was attached personnel to the Royal Scots in Kirknewton when this atrocity took place, then only 25 myself with a new baby son. All these years later I still think of the fate of those men going about their duty on that day and of the suffering of their poor families which will be with them for life and even for their generations to come. Death is too good for the likes of Walker, he deserves to suffer, then rot in hell.

    Let’s also not forget what Walker has put his own family through, whom though innocent of crime carry with them the shame and even a burden guilt through association of what this evil disgrace to humanity did to his fellow soldiers, men who would have stood by him in combat should they have been called to do so, men who lived to serve their regiments and their country with pride and self respect.

    Bless those three soldiers, innocent victims of greed, pure cowardice and evil and bless their loved ones and generations to come. They are not forgotten!

  3. When this happened, I was in the 1st year of the then newly opened ‘Beeslack High School’.
    My Dad was stationed at Glencourse Barracks…we lived across the road in Belwood Crescent. He was best mates with Terry; both of them being in the RAPC and they had joined up together. Terry used to come around ours on weekends for scoff and a beer or two. I remember when Terry; who was a singlie, mentioned that he had been given a posting to Mönchengladbach, Germany. Thing was, he loved being in Scotland. My Mam, who is German, was feeling homesick and although my Dad, sister and I loved Penicuik, she hated the cold and bad accommodation. Terry suggested the he and my Dad swap postings to which my Dad agreed apon, and then said that instead of my Dad doing the bank run, that he’d do it because ‘he needed the practice’…
    after what happened, there was a 12-mile sponsered run for Pvt Thomson’s wee lad ‘Bruce’ (if remember his name correctly) which most of us took part in.
    My Dad is still wreaked with guilt almost 29 years later. That fateful day on the 17th of january 1985 left scars on so many people…denied them a future…took away their hopes and dreams. Pvt John Thomson, Major (ret’d) David Cunningham and Sgt Terry Hosker…I salute you and your families. will; you SHALL not be forgotten!

    for that spineless c**t Walker…..your filthy greed and lack morals. you broke the unspoken rules of honesty, loyalty, integrity…and the oath of allegiance when you slaughtered your Brothers in Arms. The blood of three innocents, their families…their future unborn…drips from your hands. you are a disgrace to the crown and uniform you wore. you’re weak….a parody…a shallow object with no honour and a putrid blemish on the good name of the Scottish people.
    you may rue the day, Andrew Walker, when any of us who were and STILL are affected by what you did, cross your path. but because you lack the fortitude to let your whereabouts be known and you cower behind a government shield…we probably won’t be able to. but we would show restraint. we’d glower….seething….ready to tear you apart – cell by cell…but we won’t. we’re not like you…and your actions have not changed us to make us be like you. we shall stand…united…hovering over your living rotting carcass waiting for your last breath and we will dance on your grave.

    28 years I’ve waited to say this…nearly 42 years old now…done my 22…
    yet right now; with the tears running down my face, I’m a 13 year old kid…walking his neighbours labrador by the resivoir….watching the policemen shoveling bloodied snow into dustbins…

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