Glasgow & West Scotland

Alan Baker jailed for life for murdering John Weir

Alan Baker
Image caption Baker was told he must serve a minimum of 19 years in jail before being able to apply for parole

A man has been jailed for life for murdering a father-of-two hours after they met on a gay dating website.

Alan Baker, 25, invited John Weir, 36, into his home in Bonhill, West Dunbartonshire, on 3 January this year, before stabbing him at least 16 times.

He claimed to have acted in self defence but was convicted of murder and attempting to cover up his crime.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Baker was told he must serve at least 19 years in jail before being eligible for parole.

Judge Lord Boyd told Baker he was guilty of a "wicked and brutal" attack.

'Devastating impact'

The judge went on: "As for the reason for this, it is only you who will know. John Weir did nothing which remotely justified what happened to him that night."

Lord Boyd also said he hoped Baker would recognise the "devastating impact" Mr Weir's death has had on those close to him.

Baker grinned as he was led handcuffed to the cells to begin his sentence.

Image caption John Weir died after being stabbed at least 16 times

He was convicted of murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice following a trial last month at the High Court in Dumbarton.

The court heard how Mr Weir went to Baker's home after they swapped details on the dating website.

In his evidence, Baker - who described himself as "predominately gay" - said Mr Weir seemed "a nice gentleman" and that there was "no animosity".

The trial heard claims he later pushed Mr Weir away when the victim allegedly tried to get intimate.

Baker - who was pursuing a sex change at the time of the murder - said a fight broke out after he was punched on the chest.

He told the jury: "I saw him come at me. There was just a change in his eyes. He became really angry-looking. At that point I just remember getting a knife put in the side of my neck."

Baker claimed he pushed Mr Weir down on the sofa, but could not recall what then happened.

Clothes dumped

He said when he eventually "came round", he realised there was a body on the floor and that there was a blade in the bathroom.

Baker then bagged up his victim's clothes, boots and mobile phone before dumping them near his flat.

He also tried to clean his blood soaked property before police arrived.

The court heard that police found a wheelie bin in the living room.

Baker said: "I don't really have a recollection of bringing in the wheelie bin. The only assumption I can make is that I brought it in to dispose of the body in a panic."

The jury rejected claims that he had been acting in self defence.

In his sentencing statement, Lord Boyd also said he did not accept Baker was attacked with a knife and that it appeared it was Mr Weir who was trying to protect himself.

Murray Macara QC, defending, said a pre-sentencing report had stated Baker had suffered from "emotional and sexual problems" in his life.

Mr Macara added: "Clearly something triggered this total loss of self control that resulted in Mr Weir's death."