NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Sainsbury's sued for £500,000 over worker's murder in Aberdeen

Robert McCulloch (left) [Pic: Newsline] and Roman Romasov [Pic: Aberdeen Evening Express]
Image caption Robert McCulloch (left) repeatedly stabbed colleague Roman Romasov

Relatives of a man murdered by a work colleague in an Aberdeen supermarket are suing Sainsbury's for £500,000.

Robert McCulloch admitted stabbing Lithuanian national Roman Romasov, 28, at the Berryden Road store in 2009.

Shelf-stacker McCulloch, now 37, was told he would have to serve at least 10 years and nine months behind bars.

Relatives of Mr Romasov claim Sainsbury's was liable for the actions of its then-employee. The firm contests the action.

Mr Romasov's family maintains that McCulloch was a British National Party member who was known to hold "extreme and racist views about Eastern European workers coming to the UK".

They say that Mr Romasov had written a letter to his line manager complaining about racist comments from McCulloch, but by the time of his death no action had been taken by the manager.

But in a procedural hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, the supermarket chain sought to have the action dismissed after arguing that the actions of McCulloch were not related to either its business or his job duties.

Stab wounds

Sainsbury's said it does not know and does not admit that McCulloch was a member of the BNP, and claimed that the murder of a person does not fall within the definition of harassment under the legislation.

The judge, Lady Clark, reserved her decision in the case and will give a ruling at a later date, yet to be fixed.

Mr Romasov had moved to Aberdeen to work and study.

On the night of the attack, an argument was said to have started after Mr Romasov dropped crates on the floor while working, causing McCulloch concern over his victim's working practices.

Before McCulloch attacked his victim with a six-inch kitchen knife, he went to the toilet and claimed Mr Romasov grabbed him and said he would kill him if he lost his job.

A manager at the shop rugby-tackled McCulloch in an effort to stop him during the attack - however he managed to free his hands, and knifed Mr Romasov repeatedly.

Mr Romasov, who died from multiple stab wounds to the chest and stomach, had been studying mechanical engineering and was described as "a very private person" and a hard worker.

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