Man admitting raping and murdering Aberdeen mum of two Jill Barclay's sentenced to 24 years

A 23-year-old man accused of killing an Aberdeen mum plead guilty to her murder at the high court in Edinburgh.

Rhys Bennett, whose address was given as Ballingry in Fife, faced charges of murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice. 

He also admitted attempting to defeat the ends of justice by setting fire to the mum-of-two’s body.

Rhys Bennett. Picture: Police Scotland 

Judge Lord Arthurson sentenced him to 24 years in prison for the assault, rape and murder and four years for attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

He branded Bennett’s crimes “unimaginably wicked” and “medieval in their barbarity”.

Jill, 47, was attacked as she walked home from a night out with a friend on September 17, 2022. 

It's understood Mrs Barclay suffered a head injury sometime after leaving the Spider's Web pub. 

Firefighters discovered her body ablaze after they were called to a property opposite the roundabout at Dyce's Stoneywood Road and Victoria Street around 3:30am. 

Tributes poured in for the mum of two, at the time of the incident, who was described as a 'beautiful soul' and someone who was 'much loved and respected'. 

Jill’s loved ones, including her partner and six-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter, said in a statement she was “a deeply-loved life partner, mother and daughter”.

Jill Barclay. Picture: Police Scotland 

More than £27,000 was raised for Jill’s family through an online crowdfunding page as well as hundreds of floral tributes left for her at the scene. 

Back in March, the Reclaim the Night took to Aberdeen, to march against sexual violence and for gender equality for the women of the Granite City. 

In a statement released after today’s hearing, Jill’s family said: “We would like to thank the family, friends and community for their comfort and support following Jill’s tragic death as we have waited for justice.

“Jill was a deeply loved partner, mother and daughter. She didn’t deserve to die that day and especially in the unspeakable, brutal way it happened. This man has taken too much from us and changed our lives forever.”

Hear from Detective Superintendent Andrew Patrick as he reads a family statement following the sentencing:

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