Man convicted of 1999 murder

Published 15 February 2017

Today, at the High Court in Edinburgh, James McGowan (57) has been found guilty of murdering Owen Brannigan (46), in the Coatbridge area of North Lanarkshire, in November 1999.

James McGowanDetective Chief Inspector Bob Frew, the Senior Investigating Officer on the case said, "Although this murder took place over 17 years ago, officers worked tirelessly on the original investigation and the subsequent re-investigation to bring the person responsible to justice.

"This was a particularly vicious and calculated murder with a clear, intended target in mind. Police officers engaged with law enforcement authorities in Canada, South Australian Police and Australian Federal Police throughout the inquiry in order to pull together the relevant evidence. Crucial to this was the assistance given by police officers in Australia who passed information to us about incriminating comments made by McGowan whilst speaking to counsellors on a crisis support helpline.

"McGowan was arrested in 2013 in Adelaide and following the exhaustion of his appeals against extradition he was surrendered to the Scottish authorities and brought to Scotland to face trial.

"Owen Brannigan left a teenage son and brothers and sisters and I hope that this conviction gives them some form of peace."

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