A killer who treated himself to a McDonald’s meal moments after murdering an ex Motherwell FC groundsman in a ‘brutal sustained and excessively violent’ attack has been jailed for life.
Alan Richardson (25) attacked Jamie Murray after the victim spilled paint on his denims at a house in Burnbank, near Hamilton.
He struck exactly a month after he had been freed early from a jail term for serious assault.
Mr Murray (24) had allowed Richardson, a former schoolfriend at Glasgow’s Hillpark Secondary, to live with him. But the thug, who has 21 previous convictions, stabbed Mr Murray and punched and kicked him during the assault.
He left his body lying in the flat before going onto enjoy a meal at the fast food giant.
Richardson, a prisoner of HMP Barlinnie, pleaded guilty to murder earlier this year at the High Court in Glasgow.
But on Tuesday, at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Armstrong told Murray the only sentence available to him was life imprisonment.
He said: “On January 20 2018, having been released from prison one month earlier, you assaulted James Murray, in his own home in a brutal, sustained and excessively violent attack which resulted in his death.
“You attacked him with a knife and inflicted blunt force trauma by repeatedly punching, kicking and stamping on his head and body.
“I must say at the outset, that I have no doubt that Mr Murray’s family have been deeply affected by this. I suspect that no sentence would ever be regarded as sufficient in their eyes.
“I have read and noted victim impact statements by Mr Murray’s parents. It is clear that your criminal actions have had the most devastating effect on their lives.”
During proceedings earlier this year, Lord Armstrong was told that Richardson had been freed early from jail on December 20 2017.
This was despite being sentenced to two years in February of that year for assault to severe injury.
Richardson had made contact with Mr Murray soon after his release
Mr Murray’s parents didn’t like Richardson – they “disapproved” of the friendship.
But after Richardson’s partner Lynn Wylie kicked him out of her house, the criminal moved in with Mr Murray 10 days before the fatal attack.
The court heard that prior to the attack, the two enjoyed a Chinese takeaway at Jamie’s house.
But at around midnight, a concerned neighbour heard a row and loud banging from the flat.
Richardson contacted his former partner at around 2am. He was apparently “frantic” and told Lynn that he had been in a fight with Jamie.
Richardson then texted his 74-year-old grandmother and said “Gran, I need to get out of here.”
He then said he “lost the rag” and “battered. His friend”.
Prosecutor Bernard Ablett said Richardson then got a taxi driver to take him a McDonald’s restaurant in Hamilton where he ordered food.
Mr Murray’s body wasn’t discovered until January 26. The killer’s step dad had gone to the flat because he hadn’t heard from Richardson until a few days. Police later arrested him.
On Tuesday, Scotland’s most senior defence lawyer Gordon Jackson QC told the court that his client wanted to accept responsibility for his actions.
The Dean of the Faculty of Advocates added: “He was determined to plead guilty. He wanted to face up to what he had done.”
Passing sentence, Lord Armstrong told Richardson that he’d have to serve 750 days of his previous sentence. He would then have to serve 13 years one month before he would become eligible for parole.
Lord Armstrong added: “Persons sentenced to life imprisonment may become eligible for release on licence. When they are actually to be released on licence is a decision made not by the court but by the Parole board for Scotland.”