Glasgow & West Scotland

William McLean jailed for life for killing Sandra Brown

A man who stabbed a mother-of-one to death during a frenzied knife attack in Ayrshire has been jailed for life.

William McLean, 29, admitted murdering 37-year-old Sandra Brown at his flat in Troon in January.

The High Court in Glasgow heard how he left a note which stated: "It was only a matter of time before I started to kill. Time to liberate the madness."

Judge Lord Turnbull jailed McLean for a minimum 17 years for what he called "a despicable and destructive act".

The court heard how McLean became friendly with Ms Brown the week before he killed her.

McLean was with his friend Barry Muir on 18 January, the day of the murder, when he said: "What will I do about Sandra?"

He then added: "Have you ever thought about killing someone?"

Ms Brown arrived at his flat and a row broke out between her and McLean.

The pair later left the house, but McLean picked up a Stanley knife and screwdriver.

The court was told that the following morning McLean appeared at the Troon home of his adoptive mother.

He appeared upset and the woman drove him to the headquarters of the Centre Stage Music Theatre in Kilmarnock, where he had been working as a volunteer.

It was there that he told worker Suzanne Robb: "I've murdered a girl. I slit her throat. She's still in my flat."

Body found

Police were eventually called and McLean repeated the confession. They later discovered Ms Brown's body lying on a blood-soaked mattress at his flat.

A knife was found on a coffee table along with two screwdrivers wedged into a sofa.

A notebook was also picked up nearby which had been signed "killer Willieboy McLean".

It read: "I knew it was only a matter of time before I started to kill. I hate Troon. Time to liberate the madness."

The court heard that Ms Brown suffered six stab wounds, the fatal one being to her thigh.

It also emerged that McLean was jailed for six years in 2002 for serious assault.

He was locked up for another attack in 2009 and was released in October last year - just months before the murder.

Jailing McLean, Lord Turnbull told him his minimum jail term would have been 20 years, but for the guilty plea.

He warned him, however, that given his lengthy criminal past he may never be released.

"The information made available to me from Centre Stage makes it clear that you are someone who is capable of behaving in an articulate, likeable, polite and charming fashion," the judge said.

"However, there is also perfectly plainly another very different side to your personality.

'Despicable act'

"Within only a few months of being released and before your 20s were out, you committed this most despicable and destructive act of murder."

Outside court, the victim's mother, Jean Brown wept as she paid tribute to her former gala queen daughter.

Mrs Brown said: "Everything that happened to her was grotesque and horrific.

"When we went to see her at the mortuary, it was only her face that we could see. She had been slaughtered like a lamb.

"The whole family is devastated as she was such a happy-go-lucky person. She always had a smile on her and treated everyone the same.

She added: "We are happy with the sentence and I suppose justice has been done. We can only hope that McLean is never released."

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