Mum asks Me­lanie’ s killer for an­swers

Plea 20 years af­ter mur­der

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JAMES WYL­LIE AND NEIL DRYS­DALE

The mother of an Aberdeen mur­der vic­tim has made an emo­tional ap­peal for her daugh­ter’s killer to apol­o­gise and ex­plain why she did it.

Me­lanie Stur­ton was bru­tally knifed to death in her Great Western Road flat 20 years ago to­day and robbed of £30, some gift vouch­ers and “worth­less trin­kets”.

Her neigh­bour Pamela Gourlay was con­victed of her mur­der and served 14 years in prison – but her mo­tive is still un­known.

Miss Stur­ton’s mother, Su­san Pa­trick, hit out at the sen­tence in 1999 and still be­lieves to­day there was “no jus­tice” for her 22-year-old daugh­ter. Now Isla Traquair, a jour­nal­ist who cov­ered the story for The Press And Jour­nal at the time, has launched an eight-part pod­cast se­ries to help Miss Stur­ton’s fam­ily find the an­swers they have been seek­ing.

Last night, Mrs Pa­trick, who lives in Bal­later, said she was pleased the case was be­ing brought back into the spot­light and high­lighted the need for more sup­port for vic­tims’ fam­i­lies.

She told the P&J: “This has been with us for so long and it never goes away.

“My daugh­ter was a kind per­son, some­body who was only start­ing out in life, but who had it torn away from her and for what? We have never found out.

“Gourlay was treated as a child at the trial, but she was 20, so she wasn’t a child. She was some­body who com­mit­ted a pre­med­i­tated mur­der, but is now free and able to en­joy the rest of her life, some­thing she de­nied Me­lanie.

“Even if she said ‘sorry’ now, it wouldn’t bring my daugh­ter back, but at least it would make a dif­fer­ence and es­pe­cially if she told us why she had done it. I’m glad Isla has made these pod­casts, be­cause I have never been able to for­get what hap­pened all those years ago.

“But here we are, 20 years later. She (Gourlay) has been sup­ported and been al­lowed to get on with the rest of her life af­ter get­ting out of prison at 34.

“There is no jus­tice in that, none at all. The sys­tem is rub­bish and it doesn’t help the vic­tim.”

The mur­der and sub­se­quent trial were among the first ma­jor sto­ries Ms Traquair cov­ered for The P&J.

She said: “This story has stuck with me.

“The hor­rific na­ture of the in­juries – Me­lanie’s neck was al­most sev­ered – the fact it hap­pened in the ap­par­ent safety of her home, the shock of learn­ing who had been charged with the mur­der, then all the twists and turns of the trial. Yes, Pamela was con­victed and served her time but there was no mo­tive.”

The eight-part pod­cast se­ries, The Sto­ry­teller: Mur­der Most Foul, fea­tures in­ter­views with peo­ple in­volved in the case.

She added: “Every sin­gle per­son I have in­ter­viewed has said the same thing, they want to know why.

“I have ap­proached Pamela. She knows this is hap­pen­ing and we are await­ing her an­swer but I am hope­ful she will do the right thing af­ter all this time and talk to me so this fam­ily can fi­nally get some form of clo­sure.”

The first episode of The Sto­ry­teller: Mur­der Most Foul is avail­able on pod­cast­ing ser­vices from to­day.

SEARCH: Me­lanie Stur­ton’s mother Su­san Pa­trick still wants an­swers on the killing

Me­lanie Stur­ton

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.