THE paedophile serving a life sentence for the murder of young football hopeful Lawrence Haggart yesterday appealed against his conviction.

Brian Beattie alleges that his trial judge Lord Dawson made crucial mistakes in his handling of the case in the High Court in Edinburgh in May last year.

Beattie, 34, of Falkirk, who is currently in Peterhead Prison, claims the judge allowed certain evidence that was inadmissible. He also claims Lord Dawson misdirected the jury in his summing-up at the end of the four-week trial.

His grounds for appeal were lodged at the High Court by his legal team led by solicitor Mr Paul Telford. The Falkirk-based lawyer said the grounds for appeal included ''information that was brought to our attention after the trial''.

The appeal will be heard in due course by three High Court judges.

When he sentenced Beattie to life, Lord Dawson recommended that he served at least 15 years for his ''brutal and ferocious'' crime.

He told Beattie: ''I regard you as an extreme danger to the public.''

Beattie had previous convictions for sex offences against teenage males.

Celtic youth footballer Lawrence Haggart was 15 when he was murdered at his home in Larbert, Stirlingshire, almost three years ago.

The original investigation by Central Scotland Police's CID team allowed Beattie to walk free just hours after the killing. It then focused on the footballer's brother, Denis, 12, for more than a year.

After a new CID squad brought Beattie to justice the force apologised to the Haggart family.

Lawrence's father Mr Larry Haggart, a painter and decorator of Dunipace, said he would never rest until every officer in the first investigation was sacked.

The man who led the first inquiry, Detective Superintendent Jim Winning, retired on ill health grounds with a full pension.

Two Detective Sergeants in his squad - Alan Stewart and Bob Beveridge - were disciplined and demoted to uniform duties.

Winning's number two, Detective Inspector John Bunyon, now faces a disciplinary hearing into his part in the original inquiry. Mr Bunyon was suspended last August after Tayside Police investigated the first inquiry.