Tayside and Central Scotland

Two men jailed for life over knife murder in Alyth flat

Hazel Court
Image caption Mr Donnachy's body was found at a flat in Hazel Court, Alyth, in March

Two men who murdered a father-of-four by repeatedly stabbing and hitting him with a bat have been jailed for life.

Murray Fotheringham, 36, and Lee Winters, 37, attacked John Donnachy at a flat in Alyth, Perthshire, on 2 March 2018.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard the three men had been drinking and Mr Donnachy was unable to defend himself.

Judge Lord Beckett ruled Fotheringham must serve at least 19 years in prison and Winters at least 16 years.

Lord Beckett told the men the attack was "an appalling crime".

Intention to kill

He added: "You armed yourselves with weapons including at least one knife and a bat - probably a baseball bat - and set about Mr Donnachy who was intoxicated and had no chance of defending himself.

"Most of the significant injuries were clustered around the upper left side of the torso which strongly suggests an intention to kill."

The court had heard how Fotheringham and Winters left 26-year-old Mr Donnachy's body lying on the floor of the flat after the attack.

Police forensic officers later found bloodstains containing the palm prints of both accused.

Pathologist David Sadler told the jury that he had noted 15 stab wounds to Mr Donnachy's body and various blunt force injuries.

He said three of the wounds were caused by one knife blow which went through the arm and entered the chest cavity.

The court heard that a further wound which severed a major artery on its own could have led to Mr Donnachy's death.

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