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Murderer’s complaint over regional daily ‘pervert’ tag withdrawn

William BeggsA killer dubbed the ‘Limbs in the Loch’ murderer has withdrawn a complaint he made to the press watchdog after being described as a “pervert” by a regional daily.

William Beggs, pictured left, had written to the Independent Press Standards Organisation over a story in the Belfast Telegraph which revealed a court had ruled his human rights were breached by prison staff who opened his mail.

Beggs, who murdered and dismembered teenager Barry Wallace in December 1999, claimed to IPSO that the Bel Tel’s report describing him as a pervert and alleging he raped his victim were inaccurate.

Beggs claimed he had not been tried, convicted or sentenced for any sexual offence against his victim, adding his murder conviction was “a miscarriage of justice”.

Lawyers for the Bel Tel told IPSO the reports had not stated that Beggs, originally from Lurgan, Northern Ireland, had been tried or convicted of rape.

They pointed out the newspaper was entitled to report on the circumstances giving rise to, or in the course of, the act of murder, which, in this case, included an assault of a serious sexual nature.

The Bel Tel submitted that it was entirely appropriate and justified in describing Beggs’ actions as rape, and that he was a psychopath.

Beggs withdrew his complaint following this submission.

Mr Wallace, a supermarket worker, vanished on 5 December 1999, after a Christmas night out with colleagues in his home town of Kilmarnock.

In 2001 a jury found Beggs took the 18-year-old to his flat and subjected him to a serious sexual assault. He then murdered him and cut up his body.

Mr Wallace’s limbs and torso were recovered from Loch Lomond while his head was found washed up on a beach near Troon, in Ayrshire.

After the crime, Beggs fled to the Netherlands, but was extradited to Scotland to face trial.

He was jailed for life in 2001, and ordered to spend at least 20 years behind bars.

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