Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Steven Kettles jailed for Kirkcaldy music row murder

Steven Kettles
Image caption Steven Kettles had denied murdering David Allan in a row in March

A man who stabbed his neighbour to death in a row about loud music has been jailed for a minimum of 14 years.

Steven Kettles, 28, was given a life sentence for the murder of David Allan, 44, at a flat in Kirkcaldy in Fife.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Mr Allan was stabbed after going to ask Kettles to turn his music down in the early hours of the morning.

Judge Lord Tyre told Kettles there was "no excuse" for having a knife when he answered the door to Mr Allan.

Kettles had denied murdering his victim by stabbing him on the body with a knife in March this year, but was earlier found guilty by a jury.

Sandwich claim

He claimed that Mr Allan had banged on his bedroom window, shouting for him to turn music down. Kettles claimed that he did but shortly afterwards the victim was banging on his front door continuing to shout about the music.

Kettles said he had been making a cheese sandwich and still had the knife in his hand.

He claimed to police: "It was not my fault because he went into it."

He dialled 999 for an ambulance and followed instructions to apply pressure to the wound.

Image caption The court heard that Mr Allan had complained about loud music coming from downstairs

Kettles claimed: "I never forced the knife into him. He went into it."

During the trial the jury heard that there was a problem with Kettles, who has learning difficulties, playing loud music at night.

A friend of the victim told the court that Mr Allan had mentioned loud music being played all the time in the flat beneath him in the block.

Mr Allan's brother also spoke of the problem with the volume coming from downstairs and said his brother would bang on the floor to make it stop.

Det Sgt Alan Stewart, who was called to the flat after the fatal stabbing, found a flat screen television in Kettles' bedroom with the volume control set at its loudest.

When he switched it on pop music came out at "full blast".

Lord Tyre told Kettles that he had taken away the remaining years of his victim's life and said: "Nothing I can say or do today can bring him back nor provide any comfort or consolation."

The judge said he had considered Kettles' learning difficulties when passing sentence, but pointed out that he had "a lengthy record of offending".

He added: "You don't appear to have been able to learn the lesson that criminal behaviour is wrong."

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