Fife man jailed for horrific murder and rape of woman who he set on fire

A Fife man has been jailed for life the horrific murder and rape of a mother of two who he set on fire.
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The court was told that after raping the 47-year-old, Rhys Bennett poured petrol on her and set her alight in Dyce - forensic evidence suggested Jill Barclay was alive at that moment.

Bennett, 23, from Ballingry, pleaded guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh to the rape and murder of the 47-year old, and was told he must serve a minimum of 24 years in jail. Ms Barclay leaves behind a partner and two children aged six and eight.

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Sentencing Bennett, Lord Arthurson said: "Your crimes against Ms Barclay were unimaginably wicked and indeed medieval in their barbarity."

Rhys Bennett must serve a minimum of 24 yearsRhys Bennett must serve a minimum of 24 years
Rhys Bennett must serve a minimum of 24 years

The court was told Bennett met Ms Barclay while drinking in a pub in the town in the north of Scotland in September 2022, and he attacked her after following her as she made her way home.

The officer who led the inquiry, Detective Superintendent Andrew Patrick said: “I hope this sentencing brings some comfort to Jill’s family and friends who have shown immense strength throughout this investigation. Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.

“Jill’s senseless and brutal murder had a significant impact on the local community in Dyce and throughout the North East. I would like to thank the public for their support throughout the investigation to bring Bennett to justice”Police traced Bennett to Fife where he was arrested and charged later that day. Added Detective Superintendent Patrick: “I believe that the evidence we were able to gather has led to Bennett’s guilty plea and, as a result, Jill’s family has been spared the further distress of a trial.

“This was a particularly harrowing investigation and it deeply affected everyone involved. I am glad that Bennett will now face the consequences of his depraved and wicked actions.