Triple murderer freed following stroke

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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.

Execution

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’.