A LOOPHOLE in the law that allows a Dunfermline man who murdered his mum to control her estate from his prison cell could soon be closed.

Ross Taggart was given a life sentence with a minimum jail term of 18 years after he attacked and strangled his mother, Carol, and hid her body underneath a caravan just a few days before Christmas 2014.

He remains in charge of her estate as the executor of her will, despite being found guilty of brutally killing her, but a Scottish Government minister has indicated her plans to change the law to ensure such a situation cannot take place.

Dunfermline Press:

Minister for Victims and Community Safety, Siobhan Brown MSP, has outlined her plans to ensure the loophole is closed.

READ MORE: Law change would stop murderers from controlling their victim's estate

In a letter to the Scottish Parliament's Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee convener, Stuart McMillan MSP, she said: "I am writing to inform you of my intention to lodge amendments to the Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill that would make clear that an executor convicted of, or being prosecuted for, the murder or culpable homicide of the deceased will be regarded as unfit and can therefore be removed from office by the court.

"If the Scottish Parliament accepts our amendments, an application to remove can be made at the appropriate sheriff court and the provision will be retrospective so, for example, an executor convicted of murder before the provision comes into force could be removed from office.

"In addition, the effect of our amendments would be that, where a sheriff is considering an application for the appointment of an executor dative and is satisfied that the person seeking appointment has been convicted of, or is being prosecuted for, the murder or culpable homicide of the deceased the sheriff must refuse it.

"The Scottish Government committed to legislate at the next suitable opportunity to prevent an unlawful killer being appointed as executor. For specific reasons, no such provision could be included in the Trusts and Succession Bill when it was introduced but it was my intention to try and use the Bill to make this change, as I have said to Parliament on a number of occasions.

"The approach we are taking is considered to be more practical, predictable and legally certain."

READ MORE: Murder of Carol Taggart features in Netflix documentary

The current legal quirk meant that, until Carol's house at Hill of St Margaret was sold in August 2020, family members were forced to ask Taggart for permission to gain access to the property to recover precious photos and mementoes.

Her daughter, Lorraine Taggart Bristow, and Lorraine's husband Stephen have tirelessly campaigned for a change in the law – more than 62,000 people have signed a petition showing their support.

Carol ran a successful childminding business from Hill of St Margaret until the 54-year-old was beaten and then strangled to death after an argument with her son.

Her body was hidden underneath a caravan she owned at Pettycur Bay, Kinghorn, while Taggart, who was 31 at the time, "embarked on a calculated course of deceit" by reporting her as missing and repeatedly lying to family, friends and the police.

As appeals were made and searches conducted to try and find her, he played along while knowing she was dead and went on a spending spree with her money while also trying to sell Carol's jewellery.

As he was sentenced, Judge Lord Uist told Taggart: “How you have lived with your conscience since you murdered your mother, I do not know.”