Tayside and Central Scotland

Perth drug dealer jailed for stabbing man to death

Sandy Kelly
Image caption Sandy Kelly died after being stabbed by Stephen Christie, following a confrontation

A drug dealer has been jailed for stabbing a man to death after he and his brother took his cache of heroin.

Stephen Christie, 37, killed Alexander Kelly after a confrontation in Perth last August.

Christie had been facing a murder charge, but the court accepted a lesser plea of culpable homicide.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Judge Lord Kinclaven jailed him for seven years, with a further sentence of three years for two additional offences.

The trial heard Mr Kelly, 26, had previously suffered from drug addiction but by the time of his death was clean of drugs and had secured a job as an assistant with a joinery firm.

Mr Kelly's brother, Murray Christie, 32, had a heroin addiction and became aware that Christie stored his cache in woods.

Advocate depute Paul Kearney said the pair took it from its hiding place, consumed some and sold some of it.

However, Christie eventually learnt what had happened.

The prosecutor said: "Murray Christie describes he and his brother on occasion 'winding up' the accused about this in front of others."

The court was told Stephen Christie had launched an attack on Murray Christie without warning and left him bleeding heavily from a head wound and warned his brother that "his time would come".

On the day of the killing, Christie was seen in the area of Mr Kelly's home in Perth's Dunkeld Road and the victim's wife Louise was alerted to his presence.

Squared up

Mr Kelly, annoyed that his home was being watched by Christie, went to find him.

Eventually the two men got into a confrontation near Perth Grammar with one witness describing them as "squaring up" to each other.

Mr Kelly was seen to swing a wrench at Christie, he then took out a knife and stabbed Mr Kelly in the chest.

As well as the culpable homicide, Christie also admitted assaulting Mr Kelly's brother.

Family grief

The 27-year-old further pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin in Perth between 1 June in 2009 and 1 December 2010.

Lord Kinclaven said: "I am conscious that a court in this situation can say and do nothing that goes towards easing the pain and grief felt by Mr Kelly's wife, his family and his friends."

He added: "I have seen the victim statements from those close to the deceased who have clearly been left devastated by the loss.

"Your use of a knife has resulted in tragedy for all those concerned and the loss of a young life."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites