Glasgow & West Scotland

Jail for Karen Young killers who ordered takeaway after murder

Karen Young Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Police found Karen Young's body at a flat in Port Glasgow in June last year

A man who strangled a vulnerable woman in Inverclyde has been jailed for life for her murder.

Allan Docherty, 34, was sentenced to at least 18 years for killing Karen Young in Port Glasgow in June 2017.

As his co-accused Weir McKay was jailed for 14 years for culpable homicide, he shouted: "I got 14 years for not phoning an ambulance."

The trial had heard that McKay used the victim's bank card to try to pay for a Chinese takeaway following her death.

Both men continue to deny killing 47-year-old Ms Young at Docherty's flat in Kelburn Terrace.

Docherty claimed he had been trying to save her life.

Judge Lady Stacey told him: "By your actions a family has been left bereaved. You took hold of Karen Young's neck and put your hand in her mouth. You thought she had taken a packet of controlled drugs which you wanted back.

"You say you have to live with this, but you do not accept you carried out a murder. You went to trial saying you tried to help her."

Metal pole and hammer

Defence QC Brian McConnachie, representing McKay, said his client had shown "genuine remorse" in the wake of Ms Young's death.

He added: "He did not seek help by telephoning an ambulance. The jury must have convicted him of culpable homicide on an 'art and part' basis as there was no evidence he hit Miss Young."

However, the judge told McKay: "You were involved in blunt force injuries to this woman and that contributed to her death. The jury found you responsible in a legal sense for her death."

Ms Young, who had a number of personal issues, was strangled and hit on the head with a metal pole and hammer after being accused of stealing drugs from the flat.

Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Allan Docherty has been sentenced to 18 years for murder

The main cause of death was neck injuries resulting in her larynx being fractured.

Jurors heard there had been a "delay" in dialling 999 by Docherty.

'Cheer himself up'

Prosecutor Lisa Gillespie told the trial: "That was the action of a man with something to hide."

She said McKay had steered a housing officer away from the flat as Karen lay dying.

Miss Gillespie added: "He was trying to conceal what was happening to Karen Young. He said his explanation for sending the housing officer away was panic."

It was claimed McKay went on to rummage through and steal Karen's bag. He was then said to have tried to use her bank card at local shops.

Miss Gillespie: "So panicked was he that he thought he had better cheer himself up with a Chinese takeaway."

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