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Daily Record
Daily Record
David Love

OAP who killed Renee MacRae and toddler son breaks hip in Scots jail

The man who murdered his lover Renee MacRae and their toddler son Andrew has broken his hip after falling out of his prison bed.

William MacDowell, 81, was taken to hospital after being left in agony by the accident at Inverness jail. He was locked up in September for killing his secret lover, Renee, 36, and their three-year-old son in November 1976.

It is understood prison chiefs are compiling a care plan to enable the OAP to continue to serve his sentence behind bars. The frail, wheelchair-bound former building firm secretary was expected to be sent back to the ageing Porterfield Prison in Inverness on Wednesday.

But the Record understands that problems with accessibility and full-time care are delaying his return to serve his minimum 30-year sentence.

A source said: “MacDowell is getting the best of round-the-clock care and attention in hospital while being under guard because of his status. But Porterfield is not presently equipped with the type of facilities required to keep him comfortable.

“A great deal of effort and investigation is being made to see if it is possible for him to be returned there or elsewhere.”

The Scottish Prison Service does not comment on ­individual prisoners but sources said MacDowell was under constant supervision at Raigmore hospital in Inverness. Renee and Andrew disappeared on November 12, 1976, and their bodies have never been found.

The court case heard that MacDowell set her BMW car on fire to destroy evidence, and then disposed of them and their belongings. Their disappearance was one of the longest unsolved murder cases in ­Scottish criminal history.

Lord Armstrong, the High Court judge who sentenced MacDowell, of Penrith in Cumbria, called the deaths ­“executions”.

When she gave evidence, MacDowell’s wife Rosemary, who wheeled him into court, called him “a walking dead man”. She added: “Only his heart is keeping him alive.”

His defence team have stated an intention to appeal the conviction.

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