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WHIRLIGIG KILLER DIES; Victim's dad tells of relief that Fairnie will never be released.

Byline: Craig McDonald

A killer who chopped off his teenage girlfriend's head with a whirligig clothes pole has died in hospital.

Victim Angela Thomson's dad said the death of Brian Fairnie gave the family "peace of mind" that he would never be freed.

Fairnie discharged himself from a psychiatric ward weeks before he decapitated 17-year-old Angela with the pole in 1997.

He had been held in secure units ever since and died of liver and organ failure.

Angela's dad Derek said the family had feared he could one day be released.

Derek, 70, of Irvine, Ayrshire, said: "I'm not joyful at the fact that someone is dead but I'm not unhappy about it either.

"He'll not be missed. We were always concerned that he'd one day be free to walk the streets, which would have been very wrong.

"It gives us a little peace of mind to know that'll never happen.

"We were given a promise in the past that we would be told if he was ever to be released.

"That's not going to happen now so it's satisfactory in that sense at least. We miss Angela very much and she will never be forgotten."

Fairnie was held at the State Hospital at Carstairs for more than 20 years after his appalling crime.

Last year he was transferred to the medium-secure Rowanbank Clinic, where he was attacked and badly injured.

He died aged 55 at Glasgow Royal Infirmary on March 23 from medical complications including liver failure.

Sources said he weighed more than 20st before his death due to the side effects of medication and a lack of exercise.

Police were called last June after a patient stabbed Fairnie in the eye with a pen in a ward at the clinic.

A leading psychiatrist called for changes in mental health laws in the wake of Fairnie's horrific killing of Angela in 1997.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Angela was bludgeoned to death and decapitated with a whirligig drier in the back garden of Fairnie's home a month after he had discharged himself from a psychiatric ward. Fairnie, also of Irvine, was charged with her murder but judge Lord Caplan ruled he was insane and unfit to plead or stand trial.

During evidence in 1997, the High Court was told of Fairnie's violent background and how he spoke of seeing evil shadows, which were trying to kill him, on the walls of his home.

It emerged he spent time as a psychiatric patient in Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock, shortly before killing Angela but that doctors had no power to detain him.

Fairnie had been in contact with psychiatric services since 1992.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Charles Lind told the High Court in 1997 that many aspects of mental health legislation would have to be "revisited".

He said: "If we look in general at cases involving alcohol or drug abuse leading to apparent mental instability, we are not permitted to detain any patient unless it is clear that there is illness underlying the effects of the intoxication.

"Even if there is a strong case for detention, the limit is 72 hours."

The NHS last week said it was "unable to comment".

HORROR Police at the scene after teenager Angela, left, was killed by Fairnie, right, in his back garden

We miss Angela very much. She will never be forgotten

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HORROR Police at the scene after teenager Angela, left, was killed by Fairnie, right, in his back garden
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 7, 2019
Words:577
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