Glasgow & West Scotland

John Bingham cleared of murdering love rival Alister Milroy

A man who admitted fatally stabbing a love rival has walked free from court after being cleared of murder.

John Bingham, 47, stabbed 44-year-old Alister Milroy five times during a scuffle outside his home in Annathill, near Coatbridge, on 18 November 2012.

Mr Milroy, who was with the accused's ex-partner, had arrived at the house and slashed car tyres and Mr Bingham, before the fight broke out.

Mr Bingham was acquitted following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

The court heard how Mr Bingham's partner of 24 years, Joyce Caldwell, 47, ran off with Mr Milroy, who was at one time employed by the accused.

Family rift

Following the split in September 2010, Mr Bingham's son John Jnr refused to speak to his mother.

In March 2011 she arrived at Mr Bingham's house along with Mr Milroy.

Mr Bingham Snr was not there, but Mr Milroy, who had previously received a 12-year sentence for a road traffic offence, threatened John Jnr with a knife and told him: "You'd better talk to your mum or I'm coming back to take you away."

Mr Milroy then gestured with the knife and added: "This is for your dad."

The jury was told that after this incident Mr Bingham, a land speculator and former security firm manager, had eight CCTV cameras installed at his home.

Two were in the front garden and the rest inside the house.

On 18 November 2012, Mr Milroy, who was armed with a knife, turned up at Mr Bingham's house along with Ms Caldwell.

The court heard that Mr Bingham was in the house along with his son and his 17-year-old girlfriend Donna McCandlish.

Mr Bingham ran outside to confront Mr Milroy after seeing him slash the tyres on his car.

Stab injuries

Mr Milroy told him: "I'm going to kill youse. I'm going to do youse in and I'm going to take the money."

Mr Milroy then slashed Mr Bingham on the cheek and the two men started to fight before the fatal blows were struck.

Mr Milroy suffered stab injuries to his liver, spleen and kidney.

The court was told that as Mr Milroy lay dying, Mr Bingham knelt by his side and said: "What possessed you to do this? Look what's happened."

The accused later claimed in court: "I stabbed him to protect my family."

Temporary judge John Beckett QC told Mr Bingham: "The jury has acquitted you of murder."

Judge Beckett told the jury: "It has been obvious you paid careful attention to the evidence."

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