From the age of three until her horrific death at the hands of her brother thirteen years later, Amber Gibson’s short life was blighted by abuse and terror.
Amber was born on New Year’s Day, 2005, at Wishaw General Hospital in Lanarkshire in Scotland, where her brother and eventual killer Connor Gibson had been born two years earlier.
At just three years old, first entered the care system after escaping a home where her father viciously attacked her mother. But though she and Connor Gibson were placed with foster parents, Amber herself was never safe from harm. Indeed, just weeks before her violent death in woodland in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, she had been raped by another man.
And in a tragic twist of events, her life brutally came to an end on November 26, 2021 by her own sibling – with chilling CCTV footage showing how Connor Gibson led her to her death.
On the night she disappeared, staff at the Hillhouse Children’s Unit in Hamilton, where she was living, tried to discourage her from going out to meet her brother as workers were concerned about his behaviour. They were last seen just before 10pm. Neither Amber nor Gibson appeared again on CCTV until he re-emerged – alone – more than an hour-and-a half-later.
And when her naked body was then discovered by Stephen Corrigan, the pervert chose to violate her rather than tell police – meaning even in death, the 16-year-old could find no peace.
Amber and Connor were taken out of their parental home and put into care and in 2008, Craig and Carol Niven (pictured together) were approached to look after the pair in another Lanarkshire town
Amber wasn’t safe, as just 13 years later her life would be brought to a brutal and twisted end aged just 16 at the hands of her brother himself
On Monday, Connor Gibson was sentenced to life in prison for tearing Amber’s clothes with the intent to rape her before going on to strangle the vulnerable teen and leaving her body in the woods
CCTV footage of Connor and Amber walking on a street in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire at 9.55pm on November 26, the day she was murdered
By the time of her death, Amber had spent almost all her life in the care system.
Her parents, Peter Gibson and his much younger partner Ann Marie Adams, are believed to have met online and, by the time Amber arrived, a pattern of abuse was well-established. At their home in North Berwick Crescent, East Kilbride, Gibson inflicted appalling violence on the mother of his children – punching her in the face and kicking her in the body – between August 2001 and August 2007.
Peter Gibson was jailed for 10 years only a few months ago for a litany of violent sexual crimes.
The children were taken out of their parental home and put into care and in 2008, Craig and Carol Niven were approached to look after the pair in another Lanarkshire town. Amber and her brother moved into their Larkhall home but concerns about the older sibling’s behaviour soon arose.
As Mr Niven told his foster son’s trial, he would not leave the children in each other’s company as they were ‘not a good mix’.
For a time they attended separate schools. Amber went to Moore House Academy, around 25 miles away in West Lothian’s Bathgate, while her brother was a pupil at Kear Campus in Blantyre, Lanarkshire – a secondary school for those with social, emotional and behavioural needs.
Former school friends described him as a loner who was prone to sudden fits of rage.
‘He would talk about killing other pupils which, to be fair, I saw as an over-exaggeration, but looking back on it now maybe the stuff he said wasn’t exaggeration at all,’ one classmate said.
A former female pupil described him as a ‘disgusting human’ who ‘threatened to rip’ her baby from her while she was pregnant.
Ultimately, the foster care arrangement broke down and Amber moved into Hamilton-based Hillhouse children’s unit when she was 14. Her brother remained with the Nivens until his 18th birthday in 2020.
Angel McKean, 19, a friend of Amber’s there, said the siblings’ relationship was turbulent.
But she said when she last spoke to Amber, hours before she was killed, she had been looking forward to seeing her brother.
It was while in the care of the state that Amber was raped by 20-year-old Jamie Starrs, who attacked her in June 2021 after being released on bail for another sex attack.
Starrs had violated the teenager while she was asleep or unconscious at a property in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire.
A timeline detailing the events which led up to Amber Gibson’s (pictured in hat on left) death. She had been ‘excited’ to meet up with her older brother Connor Gibson (pictured in glasses on right) who she lived apart from
Amber was raped by 20-year-old Jamie Starrs, (pictured) who attacked her in June 2021 after being released on bail for another sex attack
CCTV captured Connor Gibson (pictured) walking home alone after killing Amber
Detective Constable Ross McCaig previously told the jury he had taken a statement from Amber after the sickening assault had been reported.
Her statement said: ‘I was under the covers but when I went to get up I felt I didn’t have clothes on my bottom half, my trousers were next to me on top of the covers.
‘I saw that the guy Jamie was asleep in the bed with me, it was light enough to say that it was him. He then got up from under the covers and he was completely naked and he put on a red tracksuit and pulled out a blue windbreaker style jacket and I managed to put my trousers on underneath the covers. I told Jamie I was leaving.’
Later in a homeless unit in Blantyre, Amber became ‘quiet’ when discussion turned to a TikTok user being falsely accused of rape and she revealed it had ‘happened to her’. A teenage boy told staff and police were called in before Amber told them she had been raped by Starrs.
She told officers: ‘The reason I think I was raped was that I woke up in a bed with no clothes on my bottom half with a boy I had only met naked under the covers. I can’t remember hugging him or kissing him at all.’
Tragically, she would never see never see her rapist brought to justice as weeks after giving her crucial statement to police, she was dead.
At the time of her murder, her brother was a resident at Hamilton’s Blue Triangle project, a hostel for homeless youngsters in Lanarkshire, while she was living at the Hillhouse unit.
On the day she was killed, care home manager Ian Currie, 55, said Connor Gibson called the Hillhouse unit to speak to his sister.
Amber was last seen that night, heading out to meet her brother. Mr Currie tried to discourage her from going out but she seemed excited to see him.
CCTV footage from that night showed them chatting, and appearing to be in good spirits, as they made their way through the town.
Amber even sent a Snapchat picture of the two of them to friends.
They were last seen just before 10pm on Church Street – where they turned onto Common Green and entered Cadzow Glen.
The head of major crimes at Police Scotland said time should be spent remembering Amber Gibson (pictured) rather than the two men who have been convicted
Amber moved into Hamilton-based Hillhouse children’s unit when she was 14. Her brother remained with the Nivens until his 18th birthday in 2020. Craig Niven is pictured at the High Court in Glasgow during Connor Gibson’s trial
CCTV shows Connor Gibson and his sister Amber Gibson walking on a bridge in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire at 9.57pm
Care home manager Ian Currie, 55, (pictured) said Connor Gibson called the Hillhouse unit to speak to his sister on the day she was killed. A short time later, Amber left with him, despite Mr Currie’s attempts to discourage her from doing so. She was never seen alive again
Neither Amber nor Connor appeared again on CCTV until he re-emerged – alone – more than an hour-and-a half-later.
He returned home just before midnight, and phoned Hillhouse – saying Amber had stormed off after an argument, and he wanted to make sure she’d got home safely.
Connor’s deception continued from there. He told police he’d been wearing a Rangers top and camouflage shorts.
In fact, he’d been wearing a white top and grey shorts – which he was seen throwing in a bin outside his house. They were stained with his sister’s blood.
Four days later, Gibson wrote a chilling tribute to his sister on social media: ‘Amber. You will fly high for the rest of time. We all miss you. Especially me. I love you ginger midget, GBNF [gone but not forgotten] xx.’
Hours before he was arrested for her murder, he shared another post in which he urged townsfolk to ‘leave a light on’ for Amber.
Amber and her brother had spent much of their lives in care, but a source from their extended biological family told MailOnline that social workers from South Lanarkshire Council blocked their maternal grandparents’ efforts to have the children stay with them.
‘The social work department has blood on its hands,’ claimed the family member who asked to remain anonymous.
Mr and Mrs Niven were in court last month to hear the guilty verdict on their former foster son. In a statement, they said: ‘When they arrived at our home, Amber was three and Connor aged five.
‘Connor stated ‘We are safe’ – they were until he took the safety away.’
Sentencing Connor to life in prison, Lord Mulholland said: ‘You beat her about the head breaking her nose, removed her clothing and sexually assaulted her with intent to rape then manually strangled her.
‘The last person she saw was you, her brother, strangling the life out of her. What you did was truly evil.’