A former hockey internationalist who murdered a woman his wife suspected he was having an affair with was given a life sentence today.
Craig Walker, 41, left Lauren Wilson with 77 Injuries – including 29 stab wounds – during a horror attack at his flat in Renfrew on 26th May, 2021.
The killing happened on the day of his ninth wedding anniversary to wife Seonid.
The couple had split in the summer of 2020, but Walker had been set to return to the family home.
But, prosecutors said supermarket worker Lauren, 34, was about to reveal the length of their fling and had tried contacting Seonid, 38, on the morning of the attack.
Walker flew into a rage and, after luring Lauren to his flat, battered, strangled and stabbed her before stuffing her corpse into a sports bag.
The ex-Scotland and Great Britain hockey player denied murder insisting the mum was hurt during a “frantic struggle”.
The first offender also said that he lied to Lauren about having cancer in an attempt to “push her away.”
Walker was found guilty following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
Judge Lady Stacey sentenced Walker to at least 21 years behind bars.
She said: “You murdered an innocent young woman who was in a relationship with you – she must have trusted you.
“These actions are disgraceful.
“No one can know the pain and anguish and perhaps terror you inflicted on her.
“Lauren Wilson was a much-loved daughter, step daughter, sister and mother who had a group of loyal friends.
“Nothing I can say or do can take away the grief these people feel and always will feel.
“The consequences of what you did are devastating for her family and young daughter.
“Their grief is overwhelming…you have deprived the child her mother’s love and guidance.
“She is old enough to have memories of her mother but much too young to understand what has happened.
“Her family now have the responsibility of bringing up the child and shield her from what happened while being honest with her as well as grieve themselves.”
As Walker was being led from the dock into the cells a member of the public shouted: “Rot in hell you evil monster.”
The court heard from Lauren’s mum Pauline Wilson, 61, who stated that she became “frightened” after she did not pick up her daughter on the day of her death.
Pauline told jurors that Lauren had said to her that she was going to a hospital appointment with Walker.
She added that Lauren had told her she has “something important” to say to her which was “nothing to worry about.”
Pauline said: “I knew it was important as she wouldn’t leave her daughter without arrangements like a packed lunch or uniform.
“It was totally out of character – I was worried and getting distressed.”
A selection of text messages between the pair were read to the court.
In one, Lauren said: “It’s okay mum, I’m not doing anything stupid or making an idiot of myself, I just really need your support at this moment.”
Another read: “I have lied to you, I’m sorry, I’m not at hospital at all, I just need some time alone to work things out, I will be back to get her.”
Prosecutor David Dickson asked Pauline if she had concerns about these texts.
She replied: “Yes, it was just totally out of character for Lauren – I was frightened – it was just not something she would do – she would never leave her daughter ever.”
Another message read: “I’m embarrassed mum, this my doing, I have been a total d***.”
Mr Dickson: “Is this something she would say?”
Pauline: “No, Lauren never even swore at me and would not use that kind of language.”
Walker’s wife Seonid told jurors that she married him in 2012.
They had split in 2020 but discussed reconciling and were due to go out for an anniversary meal on the night of the murder.
But, Seonid recalled that month getting a friend request on Facebook from Lauren.
The witness thought this “strange”. She quizzed her husband about her and he claimed to have known Lauren “from years ago”.
Seonid had also seen a text from Lauren sent to Walker.
Mr Dickson asked Shona: “Did he say that he was in a relationship with her?”
She replied: “No, he denied it every time.”
The anniversary dinner was scuppered when the air traffic controller said he had been delayed cleaning a large “coffee stain” on his carpet.
He instead later brought back a takeaway meal – but left Seonid’s home without eating anything.
Walker claimed in his evidence that that Lauren had a knife which he tried to get off of her.
Mr Dickson asked if Walker was suggesting that Lauren had stabbed herself – cutting her jugular and carotid artery.
He replied: “There were three struggles, and there was sliding down the wall.
“I protracted the knife and there was a big fall in the bedroom – at the time I did not notice the injuries.”
Mr Dickson suggested that Walker had formed a “rouse or a lie” days before the day of Lauren’s death in order to get her to his flat which he denied.
Mr Dickson said: “She was going to tell your wife that you were together for longer than your wife knew.”
Walker replied: “That’s incorrect.”
The advocate depute asked why Walker lied about having cancer.
He replied: “This was a Machiavellian act to push Lauren away.”
Walker also denied telling Lauren that he had an appointment at the Beatson cancer hospital on the day of the murder.
A police officer told jurors how he discovered Lauren’s body during an initial missing person hunt.
PC Stuart McDougall told how he carried out a search of Walker’s flat after finally being allowed access by the killer.
Walker was described as “agitated and hesitant”.
PC McDougall recalled seeing a “figure” in a hockey bag in a bedroom.
The officer: “I asked Mr Walker what this was and he said: ‘That’s her’.
“He said: ‘She is in the bag’. I placed him in cuffs immediately.
“He stated that he was not resisting.”
The court heard Lauren’s mutilated body was wrapped in bedding and what appeared to be black electrical tape.
Paramedics arrived, but Lauren had already passed away.
Jurors were told a hoover, wipes as well as a mop and bucket were discovered in the bath as Walker tried to clean up what he had done.
Walker was also convicted of a separate charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.