Man admits murder and burying victim’s body

A THUG with a history of violence has admitted murdering a Bellshill man and burying his body.

For months Garry Smith pretended Graeme Ferry had left his home unharmed and claimed he hadn’t a clue what happened to him after that.

He ‘cruelly’ phoned the missing man’s mum on more than occasion to ask if he had returned home.

However, Smith (34) finally confessed to detectives after hearing that his girlfriend had been detained in connection with the murder.

He then took officers to where he had buried Mr Ferry’s body which was recovered last September - more than five months after he went missing.

Smith, of John Bowman Gardens, Bellshill, appeared at the High Court in Glasgow and admitted murdering Mr Ferry (24) on April 2 last year.

Andrew Shilliday (39), of Babylon Road, Bellshill, admitted helping cover up the crime.

Shilliday and Michael Archibald (31), of Crossgates, Bellshill, had both been accused of murdering Mr Ferry, but had their not guilty pleas accepted.

Archibald was also cleared of involvement in the cover-up.

Alissa McAteer (30), Smith’s girlfriend and mother of his son, and Archibald’s partner, Pamela Sneddon (27), of Dee Path, Holytown, were accused of atempting to defeat the ends of justice by lying to police about Mr Ferry’s movements in the hours before he died.

However, they had their not guilty pleas accepted and walked free from court.

Archibald is serving a jail sentence for drug dealing and remains behind bars.

Smith has twice been given a six-year jail sentence at the High Court for assault and in 2002 walked free after being cleared of murdering Bellshill teenager David Ferguson in 1999.

The High Court heard this week that detectives were stunned when he confessed to the murder of Mr Ferry.

Mr Ferry’s parents were in court to hear a harrowing account of their son’s death and the discovery of his body after a lengthy police investigation.

Smith and Shilliday will be sentenced next month.

Full story in this week’s Bellshill Speaker, out on Wednesday.