A LOOPHOLE in the law which allowed a Dunfermline man who murdered his mum to control her estate from his prison cell has now been closed.

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

He remained in charge of her estate as the executor of her will, despite being found guilty of brutally killing her. 

It 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.

Dunfermline Press: Ross Taggart who murdered his mother Carol in 2014.Ross Taggart who murdered his mother Carol in 2014. (Image: Police Scotland)

Over the last nine years, Carol's daughter, Lorraine Bristow, and other family members have campaigned to have the law changed – more than 65,000 people signing a petition showing their support.

READ MORE: Dunfermline man killed his mum and still controls her estate

The Trusts and Succession Bill received Royal Assent last Tuesday which modernises the law on trusts, succession and executors.

Speaking on STV News, Lorraine welcomed the new law.

"I don't really how how I feel right now," she said. "I think I have numbed myself to it all. It was a case of always fighting to try and change the law and help other people.

"I have not actually fully had it sink in. To know I have helped in a a good way, I think does bring a bit of closure. It has to.

"Ross has control of the estate, everything that my mum had. He got to deal with everything even down to the little things. We couldn't enter the house, or little things that she owned, I never got any of that.

"It was not to gain anything for me. I just wanted to protect someone in my situation and help them make sure that it doesn't happen again."

Dunfermline Press: Carol Taggart who was murdered by her son Ross in December 2014.Carol Taggart who was murdered by her son Ross in December 2014. (Image: Police Scotland)

Minister for Victims and Community Safety Siobhian Brown previously welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s backing for the new law that will prevent killers from acting as an executor on their victim’s estate.

"I am pleased that we have been able to address this important issue through the bill, now passed by parliament," she said. "This change in the law follows the murder of Carol Taggart by her son, who was also her executor.

READ MORE: Family's campaign to close legal loophole nearing end

"I am grateful to Carol’s friends and family for raising this issue – the change will make it possible to prevent what has happened in the past from happening in future.

“More generally, there is consensus that the law in Scotland on trusts is outdated and this legislation, developed by the Scottish Law Commission, will make a significant and positive difference for those who use them.”

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.”