Glasgow & West Scotland

John Paul Bird jailed for murdering John Bulloch at Springburn Shopping Centre

Springburn Shopping Centre Image copyright Google
Image caption John Paul Bird stabbed John Bulloch in the heart at Glasgow's Springburn Shopping Centre

A man has been jailed for life for murdering a stranger who tried to stop him hassling two women for a cigarette.

John Paul Bird, 30, stabbed 40-year-old John Bulloch at Glasgow's Springburn Shopping Centre on 3 May 2014.

He denied murder and claimed he could not control his actions at the time due to an "abnormality of mind".

A jury at the High Court in Glasgow, however, convicted him of murder. Bird was told he would serve a minimum of 18 years in jail.

Jailing Bird for life, judge John Beckett QC told him: "The public-spirited Mr Bulloch intervened (that day) and asked you to leave the women alone and encouraged you to move away.

"It is crystal clear that he offered you no violence or threat."

'Gratuitous violence'

He added: "As a result of your inexcusable and gratuitous violence - with no warning - Mr Bulloch lost his life and his family lost forever the man of whom they have every reason to be proud."

During the trial, Nicola Jackson told the jury how she had been standing outside the shopping centre smoking with friends when Bird approached.

He asked the 28-year-old for a cigarette and became aggressive when she refused.

Ms Jackson recalled: "He said he was either going to stab me or my friend in the eye if one of us did not give him a draw of a cigarette.

"I asked him to go away. He kept asking and asking - he wasn't leaving where we were."

It was then Mr Bulloch heard what was happening and stepped in.

Ms Jackson said she remembered him saying to Bird: "Why are you speaking to females like - she has asked you to please go away. Just please go away."

CCTV footage

The witness then recalled how Bird quickly turned on Mr Bulloch.

Ms Jackson added: "He put a hand in his pocket and pulled the knife out of his pocket - he just stabbed him."

The attack was caught on CCTV, and in footage shown in court, a bleeding Mr Bulloch could be seen to stagger inside the shopping centre before slumping to the ground.

Lawyers for Bird had lodged a special defence at the trial claiming he had an "inability to control his conduct" at the time due to an "abnormality of mind".

His mother Angela gave evidence and claimed Bird had been badly affected since the murder of his brother Jason. The 16-year-old was fatally stabbed in 2007 in Glasgow.

The jury, however, convicted him of murder and was later told that Bird had a long criminal record with convictions for assault, robbery and possession of offensive weapons.

This included a 30-month prison term in 2011.

Bird showed no remorse as he was lead to the cells by blowing kisses at the victim's family sitting in court.

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