Man admits Clydebank 'cocaine cash' murder

image captionMr Boland died after being stabbed by Mullen

A man is facing life imprisonment after admitting murdering a 28-year-old acquaintance over a £50,000 debt.

John Mullen, 48, from Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, admitted stabbing Paul Boland to death near the town's Doublet Bar, in December 2008.

The High Court in Glasgow heard how he loaned Mr Boland the cash to illegally import cocaine and expected to get £100,000 back.

Mullen's son John Jr, 28, had his plea of not guilty to murder accepted.

His girlfriend Tracy Cunningham, 26, had her plea of not guilty to providing Mullen Jr with a false alibi accepted. Both walked free from court.

On the fifth day of the murder trial Mullen sacked his defence counsel and pleaded guilty to murder.

The trial earlier heard how Mullen gave Mr Boland £50,000 to finance a scheme to import cocaine from the Dominican Republic.

Fatal meeting

Mullen became concerned after learning that Mr Boland still owed £135,000 to drug dealers for cocaine he bought and then diluted so much no-one would buy it.

When Mullen demanded to see his money, Mr Boland initially tried to fob him off before finally giving him the name of the man he claimed was holding the cash.

image captionMr Boland was found outside the Doublet Bar

After speaking to this man and discovering he knew nothing about the £50,000, Mullen ordered his son, John Jr, and family friend Gary Edmonds to bring Mr Boland to him.

On 13 December 2008, Mr Boland was taken in his car to the meeting, with Mullen Jr driving, and Mr Edmonds driving behind in his car.

In evidence, Mr Edmonds said that as he parked behind Mr Boland's car, in the town's Fullers Gate, he saw him running from the car clutching his neck, with Mullen chasing him.

He told prosecutor Andrew Miller: "I think Paul was doing a runner and John Mullen Senior was hot on his heels."

He said both men ran round the corner towards the Doublet public house and disappeared from view.

Under questioning, Mr Edmonds said he saw some "spiky-looking thing made of steel" protruding from Mullen Sr's hand.

He said he later asked Mr Mullen Jr what had happened and was told by him that "his dad just went nuts" and stabbed Mr Boland.

The victims body was found later that night outside the Doublet Bar.

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