Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man admits killing former soldier

Robbie Morrison Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Robbie Morrison was attacked in Wester Hailes

A former soldier from Edinburgh, who had completed tours of duty with the British Army in the Middle East, was stabbed to death in his home city.

Robbie Morrison was knifed in the leg in Edinburgh's Wester Hailes area on 22 August last year and died in hospital.

Kristian Nelson, who was originally accused of murdering Mr Morrison, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of culpable homicide.

Nelson's co-accused Colin Craig had his guilty plea to assault accepted.

The court heard that Craig had tripped Mr Morrison, who fell to the ground, after he tried to run away following a confrontation with Nelson.

Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Kristian Nelson pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of culpable homicide
Image copyright Police scotland
Image caption Colin Craig had his guilty plea to assault accepted by the Crown

Shortly after that, Nelson used a knife to stab Mr Morrison on the rear of his left thigh, leaving a 15cm (6in) wound.

The victim got away from the scene of the attack with blood "splashing" from his leg, the court was told.

The trail of blood from Mr Morrison's leg led the police to Dumbryden Gardens where Nelson lived.

Mr Morrison stopped breathing on the way to hospital and was given resuscitation treatment. He underwent surgery but his condition deteriorated and he died in the early hours of 25 August.

Unemployed Nelson, 37, who has previous convictions for assault, later admitted stabbing the victim but said: "I didn't mean to kill him."

His defence solicitor advocate David Allan told the High Court in Edinburgh: "It is clear a significant prison sentence is inevitable in relation to this crime."

Young daughter

Advocate depute Steven Borthwick, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Morrison, who had a young daughter, left the Army in 2011 after six years' service.

He said that following his military service he became involved in substance misuse and it was believed be bought drugs in the Wester Hailes area, but at the time of his death was seeking help for his problem.

The prosecutor said: "The extent to which the accused and the now deceased knew one another is not entirely clear. The motive for the attack which led to the death of Robbie Morrison is not known."

He added: "There is some information to suggest that the now deceased owed a debt to a third party and the confrontation between Robbie Morrison and the accused arose as a result of that debt."

Mr Borthwick said the Crown was unable to give a reliable and undisputed version of events.

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