A drug dealer who stabbed a man to death after he and his brother took his cache of heroin was jailed for ten years on Friday.
Stephen Christie, 37, knifed 26-year-old Alexander Kelly in the heart after a street confrontation in Bute Drive in Perth following "ongoing friction" before fleeing on his bike.
A judge told Christie at the High Court in Edinburgh: "You have accepted responsibility for the culpable homicide of Alexander Kelly on August 23 in 2011. You assaulted him, you stabbed him on the body with a knife and you killed him having previously evinced malice and ill will towards him."
Lord Kinclaven added: "I am conscious that a court in this situation can say and do nothing that goes towards easing the pain and grief felt by Mr Kelly's wife, his family and his friends. I have seen the victim statements from those close to the deceased who have clearly been left devastated by the loss. Your use of a knife has resulted in tragedy for all those concerned and the loss of a young life."
In a previous statement Mr Kelly's family had described him as a "much-loved son, brother, husband, uncle and friend."
Christie, of Bute Drive, Perth, was originally charged with murdering Mr Kelly but the Crown earlier accepted his guilty plea to a reduced charge of culpable homicide.
He also admitted assaulting Mr Kelly's brother, Murray Christie, 32, on June 5 last year at Lewis Place in Perth by repeatedly striking him on the head and body with a knife to his injury.
Stephen Christie also pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin in Perth between June 1, 2009 and December 1, 2010.
Lord Kinclaven jailed him for seven years for the killing and gave him further sentences of 18 months imprisonment for the other offences to run consecutively.
The court heard that Mr Kelly had previously suffered from drug addiction but by the time of his death was clean of drugs and had secured a job as an assistant with a joinery firm and married.
His brother had also had a heroin problem and became aware where Christie stored his cache of the drug in woods.
Advocate depute Paul Kearney said they took it from it hiding place and consumed some and sold some of it. Christie eventually learnt what had happened.
The prosecutor said: "Murray Christie describes he and his brother on occasion 'winding up' the accused about this in front of others."
Stephen Christie launched his attack on Murray Christie without warning and left him bleeding heavily from a head wound and warned his brother that "his time would come".
On the day of the killing Christie was seen in the area of Mr Kelly's home in Perth's Dunkeld Road and the victim's wife Louise was alerted to his presence.
She saw him looking in the direction of her home and became concerned that he was in the area.
She told Mr Kelly who was annoyed that Christie appeared to have discovered where he lived and to be watching his home. He told her that he was going to speak to him and would be back shortly.
Mr Kearney said: "This was the last time that she saw her husband alive."
Christie had begun cycling back towards his home area but Mr Kelly met his sister and got into her car.
They spotted Chrstie near Perth Grammar School and Mr Kelly asked his sister to stop and got out of the car with a wrench.
The two men got into a confrontation with one witness describing them as "squaring up" to each other. Mr Kelly was seen to swing at Christie who took out a knife and stabbed him in the chest before he collapsed to the ground.
Christie went to another man's home in Perth and on arriving said: "I have done something stupid."
Defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC said that Christie accepted that he had been sourcing and supplying heroin to fund his own habit and that of his girlfriend at the time.
He said that after he found out the brothers were responsible for the missing drugs there was "ongoing friction".
- Drug dealer killed man who stole heroin with a single stab wound
- Man accused of murdering 'much-loved son' in street near school
People who read this story also read
- Man detained after woman dies in fall from multi-storey building
- Scots businessman dies in fall from hotel balcony at Turkish holiday resort
- Police warn derby day football fans that they must have tickets
- Family of woman found dead in flat say death has left 'huge void'
- Delivery lorry bursts into flames on A9 closing part of the road