Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Drug dealer sentenced over Whitburn murder

Alan Hunter
Image caption Mr Hunter died in hospital after being attacked

A drug dealer who murdered his friend in a knife attack because he suspected him of stealing £200 worth of heroin will serve at least 16 years in prison.

Billy Black, 30, had denied stabbing Alan Hunter, 25, of Livingston, at a flat in Whitburn, West Lothian, in April last year.

The case against his co-accused Lawson Shaw was found not proven on Tuesday.

The ongoing case prevented reporting on Black's sentence, passed at the High Court in Livingston on 21 February.

Both Black and Mr Shaw had denied murdering the father-of-one at a council flat in Townhead Gardens.

Mr Hunter died in hospital the day after the attack.

Black was given a mandatory life sentence after being convicted of murder last month.

"Whole life"

Temporary judge Michael O'Grady QC told Black the minimum prison term had to reflect the dreadful consequences of his attack.

He said: "You armed yourself, you were assisted and your victim was defenceless.

"You have tragically taken the life of a young man whose whole life was before him.

"This has been a distressing case with regard to the outcome for the unfortunate victim.

"Sadly there is no sentence I can give that will change that or bring any comfort to his family or friends."

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