Stuart Patterson jailed for life for golf club murder
A man who was convicted of killing an illegal cannabis grower with a golf club after trying to blame his wife for the murder, has been jailed for life.
Stuart Patterson, 27, claimed Kimberley Reid, 25, had battered Paul Cunningham, 35, at the victim's flat in Glasgow.
Reid admitted stealing cannabis plants from the flat and gave evidence against Patterson after having her not guilty plea to murder accepted by the Crown.
At the High Court in Glasgow, Patterson was jailed for a minimum of 18 years.
Reid, who also admitted being concerned in the supply of cannabis, was jailed for 22 months.
Temporary judge John Morris QC branded the way she constantly lied to cover up her involvement in the incident as "despicable".
Jailing Patterson, judge Morris said: "The jury convicted you of the murder of a man who was once your friend.
"Whether it was to steal the cannabis plants he was looking after or whether it was revenge for some perceived wrong in the past only you can tell.
"It was a brutal killing of a defenceless man."
Patterson's trial at the High Court in Edinburgh heard how he and Reid, who were separated, hatched a plan to steal and sell the cannabis which was being grown in Mr Cunningham's flat.
They believed the cash would allow Reid to get a flat and persuade social workers that she could look after their three-year-old son, who is in care.
Patterson was also said to hold a grudge against Mr Cunningham after a New Year row saw him charged with assaulting the victim with a golf club.
Following that attack, he had been freed on bail - subject to an overnight curfew.
The court heard how the couple planned their raid on Mr Cunningham's flat in Aberdour Street, Haghill, for the afternoon of 8 February.
In her evidence, Reid described her shock when Patterson told her Mr Cunningham was dead - laughing as he did so - and flung open a door to show her the body.
She said: "I looked in and saw Paul Cunningham lying there. It was like, as if he was sleeping."
Reid told the trial that Patterson's excuse for going to the flat had been to show Mr Cunningham some golf clubs.
"He said they were lying on the couch and Paul had turned to get another golf club from the bag and when his back was turned he (Patterson) hit him with a golf club.
"He said he (Cunningham) had turned round and his eyes were glazed over and he kept hitting him, even as he fell to the floor."
Patterson told the trial he was "heartbroken" because his estranged wife had given evidence against him, in spite of his efforts to protect her by agreeing a cover story and lying to police.
He claimed Reid struck the fatal blows before he could disarm her.
The jury did not believe him, however, and convicted him of murder by a majority verdict.