A man who brutally murdered an electrician by ramming a knife six inches into his throat was today jailed for life.
Paul Smith, 43, was ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years in prison for the murder of 49-year-old Andrew McCarron before being eligible for release.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that Smith had gone out armed with a knife after months of sending threatening texts to his ex-wife Nicola Johnstone about her new lover Jamie Bell.
Smith was driven by an "obsessive hatred" of Jamie and a disturbance broke out when he went to the club where the Bell family were enjoying a night out in July 2019.
When Andrew McCarron, 49, who was engaged to Jamie’s mother Catherine, tried to stop the situation escalating, he was fatally wounded by Smith.
Judge Lord Burns told Smith, who appeared in court via a video link: “You undoubtedly went out that night armed with a knife and had according to CCTV footage spent a little time thinking about what you were doing.
“You did not give evidence, but what is plain is that when confronted by Mr McCarron you deliberately stabbed him with a large knife taken from your home a short time before. The jury found that to be a murderous attack.”
Smith admitted killing Aston Villa fan, Andrew who was originally from Birmingham but denied murdering him, but the jury convicted him of murder.
The violent attack took place around 12.15am on July 21, 2019, outside Edinburgh City FC’s social club in Lochend Road South, Edinburgh.
Months earlier Smith and his wife had broken up and she began dating Jamie. Smith began drinking heavily and sent threatening text messages to his wife about her new boyfriend.
On the night of the attack, he went to the social club where the Bell family were holding a night out.
When Mr McCarron tried to intervene, Smith stabbed him in the throat.
Nicola Johnstone told the court she split from Smith in February 2019 and began a relationship with Mr Bell.
She told prosecutor Lisa Gillespie QC that Smith started threatening Jamie Bell on a weekly basis.
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When Ms Gillespie asked her about the nature of the threats, Ms Johnstone replied: “All manner of things. He would chop his b***s off.
“He was going to kill him basically. He was going to harm Jamie.”
Ms Gillespie told the jury: “Paul Smith conceived an obsessive hatred of his ex wife’s lover Jamie Bell. This gives us an indication of his state of mind.”
Referring to the killing of Andrew, she added:“There can hardly be a clearer example of a murderous attack than for somebody to target a vulnerable area of the body such as the neck where there are several major blood vessels.
Solicitor advocate Gilfedder said that Smith had always admitted killing Andrew, but denied killing him.
Mr Gilfedder added: “Mr Smith in 2018 lost his grandfather, his uncle and his dad within the space of six weeks and began drinking to excess. This resulted in Nicola leaving him in 2019 and he was totally heartbroken.
“He claims that night he was on his way to see a friend and walked past the club.
“He has expressed remorse and awareness of the devastation he has caused to the friends and relatives of Andrew McCarron.”