I put my phone on silent when my daughter Claire Inglis called begging for cash… hours later she was brutally murdered | The Sun

A MUM put her phone on silent when her daughter kept calling begging for cash – but hours later she was brutally murdered.

Claire Inglis, 28, was battered and strangled to death by her scar-faced boyfriend Christopher McGowan in November 2021.

The couple had only been together for a month when she was found dead in the early hours with 76 separate injuries – including a baby wipe down her throat.

Claire initially informed her mum Fiona, 62, following a driving lesson with 60-year-old dad Ian.

The call came a month into their relationship, but the parents knew McGowan's name was "bad news" and did not approve of him, MailOnline reports.

McGowan had just been released from prison, where he'd been remanded on charges including dangerous driving following a high-speed police pursuit.

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Fiona, who is receiving treatment for cancer, and Ian had cancelled plans to celebrate their wedding anniversary to avoid a family part in which he would attend.

But mum-of-one Claire insisted she was being a "drama queen" and McGowan was "going to change".

However, the parents grew tired of repeated phone calls from their daughter asking for money – suspecting any cash they gave her would end up in McGowan's hands.

On November 28, 2021 – the night before her death – another such phone call came from Claire asking for £25.

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But Fiona activated the "do not disturb" feature on her phone so she could focus on spending time with their grandson, who was staying the night.

She told MailOnline: "She had been on at me all day to get £25. I was like 'no, what's it for?'

"I would never have seen her stuck. She said it was for her son's boxing lessons and I said 'no, it's not, you're lying, you're not getting the money from me'.

"I put my phone to engaged and that tortured me for two years because I thought what if she'd been trying to phone me and I put the phone off because it was just getting relentless with her."

At 5am the following morning, Ian and Fiona were informed of an emergency at Claire's flat and rushed to the property.

McGowan had woken up neighbours and said: "Waken up, I think I've killed her."

Two neighbours attempted CPR before paramedics arrived to find Claire lying "black and blue" on her bedroom floor, not breathing, with no heartbeat.

By the time of her death, she owed thousands of pounds, with bank statements showing men's clothes had been bought on credit for McGowan.

He also sold off their Claire's son's PlayStation and a watch she'd been given for her 21st birthday.

McGowan was jailed for life with a minimum term of 23 years on Wednesday.

Judge Michael O’Grady told McGowan at the High Court in Edinburgh his actions were "beyond sadistic" – and the mum-of-one had suffered "nothing short of torture".

He said: “It was difficult to portray the brutality of what you inflicted on her.

“You have shown not a flicker of emotion, distress or remorse.”

The judge added: "To those who have not listened to the evidence in this trial, it is difficult to truly convey the utter brutality of the death you inflicted on Claire Inglis.

“By the time her broken and lifeless body was found, she had no fewer than 76 separate sites of injury.

"There is no need for me to dwell on the detail; there are those present today who have already heard too much to bear."

McGowan, who has more than 40 previous convictions – including domestic violence – had been released from prison to her address on condition of a curfew.

He was subject to four other bail orders at the time, but flouted the rules after being spotted drunk in Stirling city centre when he should have been inside.

Within a month of his release, he murdered Claire.

Her right cheek was dotted with wounds from a screwdriver and her ear, nose and thumb had been burned, she had two black eyes, a fractured neck and a brain bleed among a catalogue of other injuries.

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McGowan had remorselessly tried to insist she had just fallen down the stairs.

Judge O'Grady warned him: "You and others should understand that it is at least possible, depending upon its considered view, that you may never be released."

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