January 27, 2023

The villain who killed mother René Macrae and their baby has received £52,000 in legal aid to pay for his failed defense.

William McDowell, 81, received taxpayer money for his trial, where he was found guilty of murdering his secret lover Renée, 36, and their son Andrew, 3, in 1976.



Victims René Macrae, 36 (left) and 3-year-old Andrew Macrae (right).1 credit
Killer William McDowell at Inverness Justice Center after being sentenced to life in prison.


Killer William McDowell at Inverness Justice Center after being sentenced to life in prison.1 credit

He turned down requests from the victims’ families and the police to acknowledge what he had done to their bodies.

Scottish Conservative MP Jamie Green, who is proposing legislation to prevent the release of killers until they lead the police to the remains, said yesterday: “The loved ones will be outraged that McDowell managed to demand tens of thousands of taxpayer cash by hiding this important information. . ”

It was alleged that Renée, from Inverness, was on her way to meet McDowell, who was working for her husband Gordon’s construction firm, when she disappeared.

Witnesses said they heard a bloodcurdling scream and saw a man pushing a pram down the A9.

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McDowell, from Penrith, Cumbria, maintained his innocence but was jailed for at least 30 years in October.

His attorney said he intended to appeal, but the deadline passed last month.

A spokesman for the Scottish Legal Aid Council said: “Legal aid is paid to lawyers who represent people accused of serious crimes to help jurors reach a proper verdict.”


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