The events of the final months of Amber Gibson's life are unbearable to contemplate.

Months before she was sexually assaulted and killed by the older brother who should have loved and protected her, the 16-year-old was raped by a stranger.

Even in death, Amber had no relief; the man who found her brutalised body in a public park, rather than calling for help, inappropriately touched her and hid her under branches.

That she should encounter one such brute is desperate enough but three in quick succession is unimaginable.

The Herald:

Three men now await sentencing for the crimes they committed against her. Meanwhile, Amber's family - with one child in the ground and another in prison - are left to endure the devastation caused by her death.

A bright, loving and admired young women, Amber's foster carers, Craig and Carol Niven, said she had a love of art and singing.

READ MORE: Video footage shows Connor and Amber Gibson walking together  

Another family friend told The Herald that Amber hoped to go to college to study theatrical make up, putting her love of performance and music to practical use.

Mr and Mrs Niven became foster parents to both Amber and her "big bro" Connor Gibson when the siblings were received in to the care of South Lanarkshire Council at the ages of three and five.

The Herald:

In a family statement, the Nivens described how a young Gibson said of his new home "we are safe" - but it is understood that the placement was strained by his difficult and sexualised behaviour.

The couple, who described Amber as a young person with "the most amazing outlook on life considering the suffering she had experienced", said Amber and Gibson had been "let down by the system".

"Amber deserved to live a life of hope and opportunities," they said, "As a family, we will never be able to get over how this was taken from her.

"As a family, we all feel this could have been prevented. "We now have one daughter buried in Larkhall Cemetery and another child in prison."

When the foster care placement broke down the siblings were moved with Gibson eventually moving to Blue Triangle homelessness accommodation when he turned 18 while Amber had been living in Hillhouse residential unit near Hamilton for two years before her death.

South Lanarkshire Council previously confirmed a Significant Case Review will be carried out, as is statutory following the death of a child, when contacted by The Herald in December 2021.

The Herald:

It added last night that an independent review of the circumstances is being considered.

Professor Soumen Sengupta, Director of Health and Social Care for South Lanarkshire, said: “Our thoughts remain with those who knew and loved Amber.

"As is the process across Scotland in any such tragic case involving a looked after child, the local Child Protection Committee will consider an independent review of the circumstances with all partner agencies."

A jury at the High Court in Glasgow found Connor Gibson guilty of the sexual assault and murder of his sister in in Cadzow Glen, in South Lanarkshire on the night of November 26, 2021.

Staff at Hillhouse children's unit said Amber had been "excited" to see her big brother; shortly before 10pm that night she posted a selfie with Gibson and captioned it "my big bro".

READ MORE: Brother Connor Gibson found guilty of the murder of Amber

When Amber failed to return home, staff reported her missing to police and two days later her body was found by police in the small park.

But she already been spotted by local man Stephen Corrigan, 45, who interfered with her body, his DNA discovered on 39 places on her body, including intimate parts.

Corrigan was found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice and breach of the peace.

The court heard that Amber's clothes had been ripped off and her brother had battered and strangled her; her nose was broken and she had 15 injuries to the head and neck as well as another 14 to the body.

Gibson had posted on Facebook about a local vigil for his sister and had written of how much her missed her, adding "I love you ginger midget".

The Herald:

In March that year Gibson had also written on Facebook of his own mental health struggles. He said: "Bulimia, depression, anxiety and ADHD on top.

"People may think im weird but I'm complex so don't judge people based on their outside, try and look at them for who they are."

Staff at the unit phoned Gibson to ask about Amber's whereabouts when she did not pick up the phone and he told them he didn't know where Amber had gone when she left him.

CCTV footage released by the Crown shows Gibson walking home from Cadzow Park, pausing and leaning on railings, his head hung low.

On returning to the Blue Triangle, further footage shows Gibson disposing of items of clothing, passing through a darkened entrance hall to bin a t-shirt and shorts outside.

He had told staff there that he had a "big argument" with Amber and she had run off.

Days later he was arrested and the full extent of his crimes became known.

Before her awful death, Amber had helped to jail a double rapist who attacked her and a second woman.

In the June of 2021, the teenager went to the home of Jamie Starrs, who she did not know, and detailed waking up in bed next to him without any clothing on her lower body.

She hadn't initially made a complaint but, the High Court in Lanark heard, she told a teenage boy at a homelessness unit in Blantyre about what had happened to her and he told staff, who reported the incident to police.

Evidence recorded before her murder five months later helped convict Starrs, 20, who was remanded to Polmont young offender's institute ahead of sentencing due to take place next month.

Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Livingstone, Head of Major Crime at Police Scotland said the actions of both Gibson and Corrigan "leaves them beneath contempt".

The Herald:

He added: "It's hard to imagine how difficult this has been for Amber’s family and friends and our thoughts very much remain with them. "I hope this conviction brings them some degree of comfort.

"This was a challenging and complex investigation involving a range of specialist officers from within Police Scotland working closely with our partners in forensic services, all of whom I would pay tribute to for their professionalism and dedication whilst carrying out their work.

"I would like to thank the members of the public for their help during our enquiries, which undoubtedly assisted in securing this conviction."