Delay in sentencing brothers who killed referee

Image caption,
Mr Linning was found dead in his East Kilbride home

A judge has apologised to the family of man killed by two brothers at his Lanarkshire home after sentencing on the pair was delayed.

Christopher Abraham, 26, and Robert, 20, attacked David Linning, 65, in East Kilbride last December.

The brothers, the sons of former Radio Clyde presenter Mr Abie, were due to be sentenced at the High Court in Perth.

Judge Lady Stacey postponed her ruling after one of their lawyers asked to withdraw from the case.

At an earlier hearing at the High Court in Glasgow the men admitted attacking and killing local football referee Mr Linning because they believed he had assaulted their mother.

They later discovered she had hurt her face in a drunken fall.

The 65-year-old was punched, kicked and slashed on the face with a knife.

The court heard that his body was not found until two days after the assault when a friend came to collect him to referee a football match in the town.

Difficult position

Counsel Neil Murray QC, acting for Christopher Abraham, said: "A situation arose when consulting with the accused that has put us in some difficulty.

"I feel constrained in my position. I appreciate it causes difficulty for the court, my learned friend and the co-accused, and it is not a position I adopt lightly.

"My motion is to withdraw from acting. I would be perfectly happy to explain and justify that situation at a later date."

Lady Stacey granted the motion and said: "It is plainly very unfortunate, both for those involved in this case, the accused, and members of the public who have travelled to Perth.

"I am sorry it should happen, but it is correct for me to allow it to happen."

The brothers are now expected to be sentenced for culpable homicide at the High Court in Edinburgh next month.

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