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Aberdeen knife killer jailed for nine years

Bohdan Cieslar Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Bohdan Cieslar denied murder and was found guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide

A man found guilty of culpable homicide after stabbing a man to death in Aberdeen has been jailed for nine years.

Bohdan Cieslar, 59, denied murdering Aleksander Smerdel, 44, in December last year at Donside Court by repeatedly striking him with a knife.

He claimed he acted in self-defence. A jury convicted him of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Cieslar was jailed at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Cieslar had agreed during the trial that the victim was taller, heavier and much younger than he was, and added: "He was capable of lifting heavy sofas."

Defence counsel Ian Duguid QC asked if he would have thought of taking Mr Smerdel on in a fight.

He replied: "Never."

Image caption The fatal incident happened in Aberdeen's Donside Court

He told the court that Mr Smerdel went to grab him by the neck and he fell onto a computer table with a knife in his right hand.

He said the other man lost his balance and fell next to him and he thought the knife had entered his stomach.

Mr Duguid asked him: "How did it enter his body?".

Cieslar replied: "He fell onto it."

'Expressed remorse'

Mr Duguid told the court that Cieslar - who had previous convictions including assault - had never previously served a prison sentence.

He said: "He has been convicted of, and carries the responsibility of, killing someone whom, notwithstanding their difficulties, he still considered as a friend.

"At the end of the day these two persons ended up in a conflict which took place in the accused's bedroom in the very early hours of the morning at a time when the deceased had been heavily under the influence of alcohol."

Lord Pentland said he accepted that Cieslar's relationship with the victim was "a challenging and unstable one" and the deceased could become aggressive and bullying when intoxicated.

He said: "You have expressed remorse and have some insight of the impact of your crime on others."

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