Murder William Beggs, also known in the press as the ‘Limbs in the Loch Killer,’ is reportedly taking legal action against the City of Edinburgh Council for failing to act in accordance with his request to disclose what personal information of his it holds.
Beggs, who is currently serving at least a 20-year sentence for the murder and dismemberment of teenager Barry Wallace in 1999, claims the council’s failure to do so has breached his human rights under data protection laws.
After filing a series of complaints against prison officials, Beggs is now taking on a hearing against the council, which was listed for yesterday.
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Beggs’ lawyers declined to discuss the details of his case, but he is likely to accuse council chiefs of breaking the Data Protection Act (DPA).
The rules governing the use of personal data mean any company, organisation or government body have to follow strict regulations such as ensuring the data is used fairly, transparently and for explicit purposes. In addition, organisations cannot hold data longer than is necessary and must ensure it is handled securely.
The potential cost of defending the case could cost the taxpayers thousands of pounds, but a spokeswoman for the council said: “The council does not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.”
After the murder, Beggs fled to the Netherlands but was subsequently extradited back to the UK and stood trial in 2001. In January this year, Beggs petitioned a second time to get a laptop for his cell at Saughton jail – this request was rejected.
At the time, Liam Kerr, the Conservative MSP, said of his actions: “These seem little more than the actions of an unrepentant and cynical individual.” Kerr added that it seemed Beggs aimed to be a “nuisance” to the justice system.
Beggs was also convicted of murdering, and trying to dismember, Barry Oldham in 1987. This conviction was overturned by Appeal Court Judges in 1989 due to a technicality over how his trial was handled by prosecutors.