Two jailed over killing in Bellshill

Floral tributes outside the house where John Hamilton was stabbed.
Floral tributes outside the house where John Hamilton was stabbed.

A thug who stabbed and murdered a Bellshill dad has been jailed for life and told he must serve at least 13 years.

Reece Brunton admitted murdering John Hamilton at a house in Burnside Avenue, Bellshill.

Brunton (21), of Tollhouse Gardens, Bellshill, teamed up with friend Liam Kippen to kill the 35-year-old after forcing their way into the house last November.

Brunton later called a woman to boast: “I’ve just stabbed Hammy.”

At the High Court in Glasgow, Kippen (21), of Mossend, admitted the reduced charge of culpable homicide. He was jailed for eight years.

The victim was attacked after a getting a message from Kippen warning him to stay away from Gemma Mooney.

Miss Mooney had once been in a relationship with Mr Hamilton - but Kippen had since been in a “close friendship” with her.

Brunton and Kippen turned up at a house where the victim was. Kippen was heard yelling: “We’re coming through that door”.

Prosecutor David Taylor told how Mr Hamilton was then stabbed repeatedly as Brunton was armed with a blade. Kippen was seen striking or trying to hit Mr Hamilton with a piece of concrete.

One woman near to the attack yelled: “I’ve got three kids in here.” Brunton then said to her: “Shake my hand. It’s got nothing to do with you.”

MrHamilton never recovered from the attack. He was found to have six stab wounds.

Brunton later boasted how he had been “going mental” and “stabbing Hammy”.

A police source said: “They’ve both been getting into trouble since they were juveniles. Brunton in particular is a habitual offender and now he’s committed the ultimate crime.”

Brunton has been getting into trouble since the age of 10 and had 28 offences dealt with by the children’s panel.

At the age of 15 he was caught with a knife in a children’s home and had an imitation gun while breaking into a travel agents.

Brunton was 16 when he was locked up for a year and nine months after he and a pal attacked a train passenger with a machete.

Even when freed from custody early he soon got back into trouble. In 2013 he got another long sentence after being caught with a knife while on early release.

A 19-month stretch followed in October 2014 for a similar offence and he wasn’t long out of jail for that when he broke down the door of a flat in Airbles Street, Motherwell, and terrorised a 56-year-old woman living there.

Brunton was looking to settle a score with her son who wasn’t at home.

He was jailed for three years May, with Sheriff Marie Smart describing him as “a very dangerous and violent young man”.

The murder of Mr Hamilton came three months after that incident in Motherwell.

When he was just 16 Kippen was cleared of two stabbings in Mossend.