Killer son has control over victim’s estate
FIFE: Family hit out as Pettycur Bay sends £15,000 bill for dead mum’s caravan rental
A murder victim was sent a £15,000 bill to pay sites fees for her caravan.
Carol Taggart was strangled by her son Ross.
The law allows Ross Taggart, 33, to control his dead mother’s £500,000 estate from his prison cell, where he is serving 18 years for murder.
Bills for sites fees for her caravan piled up at her home in Dunfermline for four years without the family being able to get access.
The family only recently discovered the bill from Pettycur Bay Holiday Park, Kinghorn, had hit almost £15,000 – and that Taggart had agreed to give the park his mother’s caravan to settle the bill.
Carol’s family have condemned the fact a convicted murderer is allowed to manage the estate of the person he murdered from behind bars. They also said the holiday park should have done more to alert them to the escalating bills.
Taggart murdered his 54-year-old mother days before Christmas 2014 at her home, following an argument.
Carol’s son-in-law Stephen Bristow said yesterday: “Ross has been able to control everything from a prison cell.”
He added: “The people at Pettycur Bay could have had a bit of compassion.” Mr Bristow said the park had been charging fees until November 20.
“Pettycur Bay were not willing to stop charging fees on the caravan,” he said. “They agreed to take the caravan as full settlement but Carol’s caravan wasn’t very old.”
Carol’s ex-husband Shaun Taggart, 55, said: “The caravan could have just been handed over at the time but the park has continued to charge fees for this.”
He said the law allowing Ross Taggart to remain executor must be changed.
A spokeswoman for Pettycur Bay complex and The Bay Hotel said: “At this time we are still perusing a conclusion with the Taggart family and the estate executors.
“We would 100% back any change in the law on the issue of a son/child who murdered his mother/parent being named an executor of the will.
“This would have prevented the family from this current distressing situation and allowed the process to be concluded in a much more efficient, timely and just manner.”
Earlier this year his family launched a petition urging the Scottish Government to change the law allowing murderers to remain executor of the will of those they have killed. It has attracted more than 11,000 signatures on Change.org.
A Scottish Government spokesman said as part of its commitment to reforming the law of succession it will consider if there is “a need to amend the law to address the issue of convicted murders acting as executors for their victims”. In 2014 and 2015 it consulted on reform of the law of succession, and is due to publish its response to the remaining issues this year.
Pettycur Bay Holiday Park, where Carol Taggart had a caravan.
Carol Taggart, above, who was murdered by her son Ross.