Mother who shopped son for killing reveals they are reconciled


A SCOTS mother who shopped her own son to the police for a brutal killing has revealed that he has forgiven her from behind bars.

Margaret Anderson, 53, recognised the description of her son in a Crimewatch TV reconstruction of a robbery-gone-wrong in 2012.

Torn by her instinct as a mother and her duty to uphold the law the mum-of-four emailed police – landing her son Lee in prison for 15 years.

But now she has spoken out about how her decision to turn him in was the right one – and how they are reconciled despite her son still serving his lengthy sentence.

Margaret’s agonising decision began when she watched an episode of BBC Crimewatch – featuring a reconstruction of the fatal stabbing of a local shopkeeper in his store.

Margaret Anderson
Margaret Anderson


Javaid Ali, 48, was found by customers on the floor of his Paisley cornershop with a severed artery in his neck – dying later from brain damage in hospital.

60 officers investigated the death and a £50,000 reward was offered to those coming forward with information – but after a series of dead-ends officers had turned to Crimewatch to appeal for witnesses.

Margaret said: “I watched the episode and as soon as I saw the reconstruction I froze.

“I recognised the clothing. It was the kind of thing Lee would wear and the man had the same kind of physical features.”

She described her agony in sending the email that would land her son behind bars: “I thought should I? Should I not? I was fighting with myself.

“I wondered was it the right thing to do or not? But in the end I decided, yes, this is the right thing to do.

“Afterwards different thoughts were going through my head. What will people think of me? Lee will probably hate me. I never spoke to anyone about it.

“I just sat in the house for a couple of days. I never told anyone, not even my finance. Then, when I heard nothing back, I thought that was it.”

Lee Anderson
Lee Anderson


But just days later her 33 year-old son made a jokey confession to her in their kitchen.

“We were in the kitchen. I had gone in to put the kettle on to make a cup of tea. I was at the washing machine, taking the clothes out. And he said, ‘It was me.’

“I got a fright. I was, like, what? And he started laughing. And I said, ‘That’s not funny.’ He never said, ‘Mum, I killed him.’”

Weeks later police arrived at her door to talk about her online tip-off, and she broke down and told officers about his kitchen confession.

Lee was charged with murder – but after he denied it a jury at Glasgow’s High Court found him guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced him to 15 years in September 2013.

In the trial it emerged that Lee had robbed Mr Ali to fund his heroin habit.

Margaret added: “I was shocked. I know I did the right thing within the law, but my own conscience is torn.

“That shopkeeper was an innocent man though, and he deserved justice. I just wish it hadn’t been my son who was the perpetrator.”

Now she has revealed how she has been able to rebuild her relationship with her son from behind bars.

Lee is currently serving his time at Shotts prison in Lanarkshire, but Margaret says they speak regularly on the phone.

Lee Anderson in his younger years
Lee in his younger years


“Just last night on the phone he said to me, ‘We don’t play the blame game’, she said.

“It seems like we’re more loving now he’s in jail. It’s like we’re talking more about things.’

She explained that since she split with his father shortly after Lee’s birth, he had been in regular trouble and had begun taking drugs in his teenage years.

“He’s been in and out of custody from when he was 13.

“Even when he was in primary school I was being called in about every two days to deal with him”, she added, “They said he was being disruptive.

“But I’ve always been there for him, no matter what his problems. There was a lot of arguing – he was an angry boy.

“A lot of the times he was arrested it was me who phoned the police.”

Margaret, a former cleaner with health issues added: “He’s been seeing a psychologist since he’s been in.

“I am hoping he will be able to rebuild his life – and that I will be a part of it.”