A SCOTS woman is urging the Scottish Government to change a law which allows her murderer brother control of the home where he strangled their mother.
Ross Taggart, from Dunfermline, Fife, throttled his mother, Carol, to death before hiding her body under a caravan three years ago – but still remains executor of her will.
Taggart, 33, has refused to give up control of the 54-year-old’s £350,000 estate – despite being in prison for his mother’s murder.
In another sick twist, Taggart has rejected requests for his sister Lorraine Bristow to access her mother’s property to pick up sentimental items such as photographs.
Lorraine today (thur) backed a petition asking for a change in Scots Law to prevent convicted murderers from acting as executor of the estate of the person they were convicted of killing.
The Change.org petition, set up by Lorraine’s husband Stephen Bristow, stated: “We would like to see a change in Scots Law that would prevent convicted murderers from being able to act as Administrator/Executor of the estate of the person they were convicted of killing.
“Ross Taggart is currently in jail in Scotland dictating to his lawyers what should be done with the estate of the person he murdered.
“His sister is unable to obtain access to her own mother’s home to collect personal and sentimental items as he continues to reject her requests.
“Lorraine has no pictures of/with her mother from when she was a child, all the family photographs and memories are locked away in a house that a convicted murderer makes the decisions about.
“My wife and her father have been unable to move on with their lives since this happened in 2014 and would like some closure on this.”
Lorraine shared the petition, writing: “Please take a moment to sign and share. Thank you for your continued support.”
Earlier that day, she shared a post, writing: “Another day another kick in the guts! I just want to move on with this it’s wasting me alive.”
Speaking today Lorraine’s husband Stephen, 32, said: “The reason I set the petition up is because, the honest truth is, I cannot bear to watch my wife suffer any longer.
“The last three years we have been fighting back and forward with Ross’ lawyers.
“All Lorraine wants is to gain access to the house to pick up sentimental items. An item of clothing and some photographs.
“We have been getting reason after reason through Ross’ lawyers rejecting entry saying that ‘he is trying to protect the property’ to ‘he is trying to protect Lorraine’. Ultimately we’re willing to buy the items.
“It’s not the money side of things, it’s the sentimental items we want. Lorraine wants to be able to show our children photographs and say, ‘here’s your granny’.
“Lorraine has been ill from this. When her mum was murdered we had not long had our first child and she can’t remember any of it. She’s blanked it out.
“This is having a huge effect on Lorraine and her father’s mental health
“Yesterday (wed) we got another letter from his lawyers which just went on and on and that was it for me.
“The boy is absolutely ridiculous. He has nothing to gain from it. Within the laws he cannot benefit. When he committed that crime, those rights were taken away.
“The lawyers representing him are actually the the ones who represented Carol when she did her will and testament. They represented Ross in court.
“I don’t understand why it’s not a conflict of interest?”
The petition has already attracted almost 1,500 signatures and hundreds of comments since it was set up 12 hours ago.
Ailsa Forrest wrote: “I can’t even believe this has to be petitioned! He should have lost all legal rights the second he was convicted. This is just making an already living hell, ten times worse and his an insult to the family.”
Stacey duncan said: “This is outrageous that after murdering his mother he still gets to control everything.”
Rhona Beveridge wrote: “Lorraine and her family need possessions, memories and items of her mother’s to treasure and have closure from this despicable, disgusting, tragic event which has happened to her family.
“Ross should get death penalty himself for what he did to his own mother, absolutely sickening! Even more so denying family of their rights! Criminal justice system at its worst for sure.”
Taggart strangled Carol Taggart to death after an argument at her house just days before Christmas 2014.
Ross Taggart, 31, throttled 54-year-old Carol Taggart after an argument shortly before Christmas 2014.
Within hours of killing her, he went to the home of a woman in Dunfermline seeking sex after hooking up on a dating website.
He then treated himself to a night out in Edinburgh using her credit card and pawned her jewellery, claiming it had been left to him.
Police found Carol’s body wrapped in bedding and trussed in twine under a caravan at Pettycur Bay on January 11 2015.
In November 2015 he was found guilty and a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
He was also convicted for attempting to pervert the course of justice after he hid her body within a caravan park in Kinghorn, Fife.
Shortly after, it was reported that Taggart intended to remain as executor of her will and was demanding her ’s £350,000 home, moveable items and even the caravan next to the one he hid her body under.
The Crown warned her family that they would have to sue him for the inheritance.
The judge, Lord Uist, sentenced Taggart to life in prison and ordered him to serve a minimum of 18 years.
At the time, Lord Uist, said: “How you have lived with your conscience since you murdered your mother, I do not know.”
Lord Uist said: “You have been convicted by the unanimous verdict of the jury of the terrible crime of the murder of your own mother, a woman who did a great deal, indeed probably too much, for you in the course of her life.
“In the course of an argument on December 21 or 22 2014 you caused her head injuries and throttled her to death.
“You thereafter embarked on a calculated course of deceit by reporting her as missing to the police and persistently lying about your actions.”
Today (thur) a Scottish Government revealed they would be discussing the case and Stephen’s petition at their next public consultation.
A spokesman said: “We note the concerns raised in this online petition.
“While it would not be appropriate for us to comment on any individual case, we will be happy to consider the issues raised during the forthcoming public consultation, part of Ministers’ commitment to modernise the law of succession in Scotland during this Parliament.”
The Scottish Government also added that: “An executor may be removed in certain circumstances by raising an action in the Court of Session.”
The Scottish Government claim they are committed to consulting in 2018/19 as part of Ministers’ manifesto commitment which states: “By reforming and modernising the law of succession in Scotland, we will ensure a clear and fair legal framework for the law of inheritance, relevant to modern Scottish society and the rights of individuals and families.”