Body of Karen Buckley is finally flown home

Body of Karen Buckley is finally flown home

Karen Buckley's body has finally been flown home to Ireland, where her funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon.

Her devastated family - parents Marian and John and older brothers Brendan, Kieran and Damian - accompanied her on her final flight, as her remains were transported from Glasgow into Cork Airport on a specially-commissioned Aer Lingus flight shortly after 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon.

Vigils have been held in Karen's hometown of Mourneabbey over the weekend, where the tragic 24-year-old's funeral will take place tomorrow.

The family were only infomred that Karen's body would finally be released by the Scottish authorites on Friday afternoon, after a second post-mortem took place at the request of the man accused of killing the young woman.

The delay in returning Karen's remains home to her family had caused concern among the community in Ireland and Scotland last week, where Isabelle Gray, of the Irish Heritage Foundation in Glasgow, revealed that some of their members had expressed anger at the Scottish legal system.

“I've spoken to a few people over the week who were disgusted by the fact that someone accused of murder can get a second independent autopsy,” said Ms Gray. “It put additional pressure on the family involved.”

Last week Alexander Pacteau, who has been charged with Ms Buckley’s murder, exercised his right to request that an independent autopsy be undertaken on the body, which eventually took place on Friday morning.

Under Scottish law any person accused of murder is entitled to request an independent autopsy, in addition to the standard one carried out by the state, to verify the results.

“This is allowed because otherwise the accused person could allege that the post-mortem was not carried out properly, resulting in the court case being dismissed without a clear outcome,” experts at Britain's Royal College of Pathologists confirm.

Alexander Pacteau, 21, of Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow, remains in police custody in Scotland charged with Ms Buckley’s murder.

The occupational therapy student was on a night out with friends in Glasgow’s west end when she vanished in the early hours of April 12.

An extensive police search was launched and five days later officers confirmed that a body found on a farm six miles north of the city was that of Ms Buckley.

The following day Pacteau appeared before Glasgow Sheriff Court where he was charged with murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

He returned to the court on Friday (April 24) where he made no plea or declaration regarding the charges and was remanded in custody as further court dates remain to be set.