Friday, January 11, 2019

The cruel loophole.

The Son

At the end of the day, most murders are rather tawdry, there’s nothing about them that raises an interest beyond who did it, why did they do it and have they been caught. They tend to be a flash of anger in one instant, something to be regretted and mourned.

Then there are the murders that make the headlines because there’s an extra element of planning, an emotional hook or maybe just a ‘there but for the grace of God go I’.

Ross Taggart called 999 on December 22nd   2014 to report that his mother, Carol, was missing. He said that she had been   depressed and had stormed out after an argument. She had not been seen since.

The family history is an interesting one, and their situation now, may well bring about the closure of a strange quirky loophole in Scottish Law.

Some background; Carol was a bright woman, she ran her own child-minding business in the east of the country. Her estate was worth about half a million pounds, I’m guessing that would be a nice bungalow, the business, a nice car, the normal trappings of success for a woman of that age who had no wish to flash her cash.

She had Ross when she was 22. 18 months later she met Shaun who became her partner for most of her life. Shaun went on to have another two children, one a daughter called Lorraine. Lorraine and Carol had a very close mother and daughter relationship. The daughter went to dancing competitions; mum made the costumes and sewed on the sequins.

Then the family dynamics started to fall apart. Ross started work at 15 years old but never kept a job. He stole money from his mother. Shaun would challenge him, Carol would stand up for her son. Ross had a terrible attitude towards woman, he was an arrogant deceitful liar yet Carol wouldn’t hear anything against her blue eyed boy. Eventually, after twenty years, the relationship with Shaun broke up. Lorraine left home as her boyfriend couldn’t stand Ross, the other son left home to work down south, leaving mother and son alone in the bungalow.

Nobody was allowed to meet Carol without Ross being there, he began to monitor her phone calls. He told lies about the rest of the family, which she believed, driving a wedge between her and her other children. He was spending her money, using her credit cards. She took him to New York for this 30th birthday, lavishing expensive gifts on him.

Carol had a history of depression, she went on record saying that the family deserted her and Ross was the only one who stayed and looked after her. When Lorraine got pregnant, Carol tried to see the baby but Ross wouldn’t let her, so she left some hand knitted baby clothes on her daughter’s door step.

When the police told the family that Carol had been reported missing, they feared the worst. Shaun asked the police to deal with them directly, rather than go through Ross.

Ross is seen on CCTV using his mum’s credit cards, selling her rings and other jewellery meanwhile he was soaking up the sympathy from social media.

On the day of the 22nd, the day Carol went missing, he bought some clothes, contacted a woman through the internet for casual sex, then went to the cinema.

The Mother

On Christmas night the police found Carol’s car, with her handbag still in it, parked on a street in their home town. The family knew they were looking for a body. The driver’s seat was too far back for Carol to have driven the car. She was 5’ 6”. Ross was 6’ 4”. Her mobile phone was missing. The sat nav was programmed to take the car to the address where Ross had sex with the woman- and that was after Carol had been reported missing.

Her body was found on the 22th of January. She had been strangled, hidden in a compartment underneath a caravan, three up from her own holiday caravan at Kinghorn. She had suffered a significant level of violence, compression of the neck, probably killed in her home then driven out to the caravan in the boot of her own car. Ross is seen clearly on CCTV, at 3 4 and 5 am, buying cleaning materials and entering and leaving the house and the caravan park.

Carol was too decomposed to be identified by her daughter visually; they had to go by a small tattoo on her wrist.

 Ross was arrested, pleaded innocent and the court case was not until 18 months later. He was found guilty and was sentenced to 18 years which means he’ll be younger when he gets out than Carol was when he killed her.

Carol changed her will, the family believe that was under Ross’s influence. He both inherits and is executor. Scot’s law means that he cannot inherit from a death that he caused, but it does not stop him being executor so he is control of all his mum’s assets from his prison cell. He controls her money, her property.

He refuses to let the family into the family home to pick up any mementos, except for one hour visit he granted his sister but that had to be in the presence of Ross’s lawyer.

He is basically letting the estate devalue- the house is left unattended, it is damp and infested by mice.

Petitions have been signed to change the law and the family are meeting the Scottish government to make sure that it happens. 


  1. Gadzooks! The law can be so bizarre. Is there any chance a changed law could be applied retroactively?

  2. What a sad, sad story. But, I'm still on two feet and my wife hasn't strangled me yet (although she's tried a few times), so I'm doing good...

  3. I'd think there would be a procedure under (even) Scottish law for removing an executor for cause...and I'd think a creative lawyer would have a lot to work with on that score.