Stevenage’s Sam Wright killer given life

The man who murdered Stevenage woman Samantha Wright and hid her body at his home for over a year has been jailed for life.

Robert Chalmers, 59, was told he will spend at least the next 23 years in prison by a judge at Edinburgh’s High Court today.

Samantha, formerly of Archer Road, was reported missing on what would have been her 25th birthday in January 2009 after she had not contacted her family for several months.

The former Bedwell Primary and Nobel School girl was last seen in June 2008 in Edinburgh, where she had moved in 2005. She went missing after being filmed by CCTV cameras talking to Chalmers.

The footage led police to the killer’s home in the city in October 2009 where Samantha’s partially dismembered body was discovered in a wheelie bin in the back garden.

Chalmers, who has a previous conviction for murder in 1974, was told by Judge Lord Malcolm that he was guilty of a “depraved and dreadful” crime.

He said: “No words of mine can adequately convey the grief and devastation which you have caused to her family and to her many friends.

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“Throughout, you have expressed no guilt, remorse or contrition. It was only through skilled and dedicated police, forensic and legal work that you were brought to justice. All those involved in that deserve great credit.

“Because of the consequences of the passage of time, unless and until you give a truthful account, we will never know exactly what happened that night. However, your conduct after Samantha’s death satisfied the jury that you are guilty of murder and it satisfies me that this was a depraved and dreadful crime.”

If Chalmers lives out his sentence he will only be released when the parole board considers it appropriate.