A drug dealer took revenge on a former client who stole his stash of heroin by stabbing him through the heart and killing him.
At the High Court in Perth on Monday, Stephen Christie admitted the culpable homicide of Alexander Kelly, known as Sandy, as well as stabbing the victim's brother two months earlier.
Stephen Christie, 37, admitted killing Mr Kelly, 26, from Perth, in the city's Bute Drive on August 23, 2011 by stabbing him on the body with a knife, having previously shown malice or ill-will towards him.
Christie also admitted stabbing Mr Kelly's brother, 32-year-old Murray Christie, by attacking him in Lewis Place, Perth, on June 5 last year, and repeatedly striking him on the head and body with a knife, having previously shown Mr Christie malice or ill-will.
He also admitted dealing heroin to people including Murray Christie between June 2009 and December 2010 at a wooded area near Bute Crescent in Perth.
Sandy Kelly was knifed to death after he and his brother taunted Christie about helping themselves to the haul of heroin he had hidden outside a school playground.
Mr Kelly was killed with a single blow to the heart as his sister Isla Lamond watched, before Christie fled the scene on his bicycle.
Advocate depute Paul Kearney told the court that Mr Kelly had previously been a heroin addict but had turned his life around and had got a job as a joiner's assistant. He said he had been married to school sweetheart Louise for a year and they had moved home to start a new life and were planning a family when he was killed.
He said: "Murray Christie is his brother and they had each suffered a heroin addiction. They knew Stephen Christie and occasionally bought heroin from him. Murray Christie became aware he was storing heroin in the woods. They took it from the hiding place, consuming some and selling some. Over time it became known the drugs had been stolen by the brothers.
"About a year later, Stephen Christie became aware. There was a considerable financial impact upon the accused. Over a two-year period they would encounter each other and the taking of his drugs was raised. They wound up the accused about this in front of others."
Christie stabbed Murray Christie in June and then told Mr Kelly "his turn would come". Mr Kearney said Christie then discovered where Mr Kelly and his wife had moved to and was seen standing across the road staring at their home on August 23. Mr Kelly then went out to confront Christie and tracked him down to outside Perth Grammar School, where an angry exchange took place as Mr Kelly's sister watched.
Mr Kelly, who had confronted the accused with a wrench, was then stabbed in the chest with a ten-inch knife and staggered backwards before collapsing. The court was told that the knife penetrated the heart and there was no way Mr Kelly could have survived the injury he sustained.
In victim impact statements, members of Mr Kelly's family said they had been devastated by his loss at a time when he had started to turn around his life.
Counsel for Christie, Brian McConnachie QC, said: "It seems clear that this tragedy occurred pretty much as a result of drug abuse involving Stephen Christie, Murray Christie and Alexander Kelly."
Sentence was deferred to the High Court in Edinburgh on July 13 for the preparation of background reports and a risk assessment.
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