A man who sexually assaulted and murdered his 16-year-old sister in a park in Hamilton has been jailed for a minimum of 22 years.
Amber Gibson’s body was found in Cadzow Glen on 28 November 2021, two days after she was last seen.
Connor Gibson, 20, strangled Amber then got rid of his clothes and called the children’s home where Amber was staying to pretend she was still alive.
The judge, Lord Mulholland, described his crimes as truly evil.
Gibson was jailed for life, and must serve at least 22 years before he can apply for parole.
Another man, who was found guilty of interfering with Amber’s body, was jailed for nine years.
Stephen Corrigan – who was unknown to both Amber and Connor Gibson – found her body, but rather than alert police, he inappropriately touched her and then concealed her remains.
Amber’s body was discovered in Cadzow Glen, a park near the centre of the town, on Sunday 28 November, hidden in bushes and branches.
Her body was covered in mud and her clothes were found nearby.
Two days later Gibson posted a tribute on Facebook to his sister – then the following day, he was arrested for her murder.
A 13-day trial at the High Court in Glasgow had heard how Gibson – who denied the charges against him – had removed Amber’s clothes and assaulted her.
Prosecutors said the teenager had been “appallingly” murdered by the brother she must have trusted.
At the time of the murder, Amber was living at the town’s Hillhouse children’s home and Gibson was staying at the Blue Triangle homeless hostel in Hamilton.
Amber met her brother in Hamilton town centre on the evening of Friday 26 November. The court heard she had been excited about seeing him and posted a selfie of them together.
They were seen on CCTV at about 22:00 near Cadzow Glen. About 90 minutes later Connor Gibson was seen again on the cameras, this time alone.
He returned to the homeless unit where he was staying shortly before midnight.
CCTV later showed him heading towards wheelie bins outside the building carrying a plastic bin.
It was empty when he came back, and his blood-stained shorts and T-shirt were later found by police in the wheelie bins.
There was other forensic evidence that blood stains on Gibson’s jacket was compatible with Amber and his DNA was found on her shorts.
The siblings had been fostered from the ages of three and five by Craig Niven and his wife Carol.
Mr Niven had told the trial that they could not be left in each others’ company as they were “not a good mix”.
Court documents also showed that Amber and Connor Gibson’s biological father, Peter Gibson, sexually assaulted two young boys and assaulted and raped a woman.
These crimes were committed between 2001 and 2008, and he was sentenced in April this year.
It also emerged that in a separate case, Amber was raped by a man called Jamie Starrs several months before her murder. He was jailed for 10-and-a-half years.
After Gibson was found guilty of murder last month, the siblings’ foster parents issued a statement.
Mr and Mrs Niven described Amber as the “most giving, caring, loving, supportive and admirable person”.
They said she had a love of art and singing, and an “amazing outlook on life” despite the suffering she had experienced.
The couple also said that Amber and Connor had been “let down throughout their lives by the system”.
“We now have one daughter buried in Larkhall Cemetery and another child in prison,” they said. “Life will never be the same.”
Tony Graham KC, representing Gibson, said his client had endured emotional abuse and neglect.
Mr Graham said: “I make reference to these matters to reconcile how a brother can act in such a way.”
Prof Soumen Sengupta, director of health and social care at South Lanarkshire Council, said it was “a desperately sad and distressing case”.
“All aspects of Amber’s care are the subject of an independent review and we are committed to the publication of appropriate outcomes of that review once we are able to release them,” he said.