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Sentence reduction for Turriff killer

By David Porter

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A Turriff man jailed for 19 years for murdering a father-of-two who helped a stranger hide in his home has had the punishment part of his sentence cut.

Liam Hay
Liam Hay

Liam Hay killed 51-year-old Anthony McGladrigan at a property near Cuminestown in June last year.

He had let one of Hay's friends into his home as he was being chased by Mr Hay who was on a five-day drug fuelled rampage.

Appeal judges have ruled Hay who is now 21, will now serve a minimum of 16 years before he is eligible to apply for parole.

It had been argued last month that Hay should have had a longer sentence discount to reflect his guilty plea and his age at the time of the offence.

The farm worker was given a life sentence at the High Court in Glasgow in January after admitting murder.

At the time, sentencing judge, Lady Stacey, had described the killing as "shocking" and "incredible".

Scotland's second most senior judge Lady Dorrian has now ruled the minimum term was excessive and reduced it to 16 years before Hay will be eligible for parole.

In a written ruling Lady Dorrian, sitting alongside Lord Brodie and Lord Turnbull, said: "This was a serious, unprovoked and distressing offence, aggravated by having been committed in the victim's own home and in the presence of members of his family.

"Having regard to all relevant factors we consider that an appropriate headline sentence would have been 18 years.

"There is usually a considerable utilitarian value in a plea of guilty to a charge of murder.

"Having regard to the timing of the plea at what was the first calling of a preliminary hearing we consider that a discount of two years was merited, resulting in a punishment part of 16.

"As with all punishment parts, this is not an indication of the date when the appellant will be released.

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