Charged with toddler's murder

Court appearance over 1998 case

A MAN has appeared in court following the death of a Denny toddler more than seven years ago.

Robert McHarg (40), of Kelvin Crescent, East Kilbride, is alleged to have murdered two-year-old Stuart Jackson, who was also known as Barry McGuire, in August 1998.

He appeared in private at Falkirk Sheriff Court on January 16 after being detained in the Strathclyde area by officers from Central Scotland Police the previous day.

McHarg made no plea or declaration and his case was continued for further examination. He was granted bail.

For years, the death of the tragic tot has been shrouded in mystery. Stuart was taken to Falkirk Royal Infirmary before being transferred to Stirling Royal after apparently suffering serious internal injuries at his home in Braes View.

Detectives treated the death as suspicious and a report was sent to the procurator fiscal. But until last month, no-one had ever been charged in connection with the youngster's death.

His parents, Stuart Jackson Snr and Mary McGuire, were estranged at the time of the tragedy and could not agree on funeral arrangements.

Nine months after his death, social workers finally intervened so the youngster could be laid to rest.

Little Stuart was buried at Hills of Dunipace Cemetery on May 20, 1999.

His mother's family had earlier attended a memorial service at St Alexander's Church in Denny, while his father's relatives had a separate service at Stenhouse and Carron Church in Stenhousemuir.

This week Mr Jackson said: "I'm delighted that I am finally going to get some answers.''