Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Lib Dem Murder - Well Nearly

Top councillor resigns amid murder probe

A prominent Scottish Liberal Democrat councillor has resigned after his home was searched and he was questioned in relation to a major murder investigation.

Raymond Hutcheon, 50, who at one time lived with a prostitute and was spoken to by police for kerb crawling, was a member of a Holyrood adult entertainment working group, as well as holding key posts on Aberdeen City Council.

He was also a member of Grampian Joint Police Board and Aberdeen City Council's standards and scrutiny committee, which has a remit to ensure "absolute probity".

Mr Hutcheon's house was searched on Monday in connection with the investigation into the death of 57-year-old Ronald Mair, whose body was found bound and gagged in a cupboard of his home in Kettlehills Crescent, Aberdeen, last month.

Mr Mair's lifestyle was linked to drugs and prostitution. Three people have since been charged with his murder. On Monday, Stephen Rankin, 32, of Darvel, Ayrshire, appeared in court on a murder charge and yesterday Derek Carswell, 40, of Dreghorn, by Irvine, and Jane McBurnie, 17, of Thetford, Norfolk, appeared on petition at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on murder and other charges.



A FORMER councillor, who was a member of a Scottish government think tank looking into the sex industry, admitted that he used the services of prostitutes who also supplied him with crack cocaine, it was reported yesterday.
Raymond Hutcheon has been in the spotlight since it was revealed that he was connected to prostitutes who were supplied by murdered drug dealer Bob Mair.

The allegations first surfaced in March, when police investigating Mr Mair's murder searched the councillor's Aberdeen home, Corsehill Croft, for leads. Mr Hutcheon stepped down from his post as a councillor "for personal reasons" during the police inquiry.

Now, according to a Sunday newspaper, it has emerged that he confessed to his drug use and relationship with four prostitutes in police interviews with detectives investigating the murder.

Mr Hutcheon, who was a councillor for 20 years before stepping down earlier this year, was a member of Aberdeen Council's Standards and Scrutiny committee and sat on Grampian Joint Police Board and a sub-committee on drugs and alcohol.

In 2002 he was forced to stand down as a governor at Oakbank School in Aberdeen after it was revealed that he had a live-in relationship with a former prostitute, Vicky Sneddon.

According to the leaked transcripts reported yesterday he told officers that he had first had a relationship with another prostitute, Nicola Stewart, who had a heroin addiction. "On our initial meeting I secured her services as a prostitute," he said.

The affair lasted six months and he then met Ms Sneddon, who he claimed introduced him to crack cocaine.

In 2005 he picked up Kerry Stirton and told police: "Kerry was a crack abuser and sourced crack for her and me. I gave her money for crack every few days, about £50 to £100 per time."


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