Man jailed for murdering Fettes teacher lured to death on dating app

Retired teacher Peter Coshan, 75, had been lured to his death in a flat in Leith in 2022.

Man jailed for murdering Fettes teacher lured to death on dating app Police Scotland

A 29-year-old man who admitted murdering a retired Fettes College teacher in a catfishing plot has been sentenced to life in prison with a recommendation that he serve at least 22 years behind bars.

Paul McNaughton killed 75-year-old Peter Coshan in a flat in Leith on either August 11 or 12 2022, after using a fake profile on a gay hook-up site to lure him to the address.

McNaughton first met the retired biology teacher online in 2021 and proceeded to steal tens of thousands of pounds from him after gaining access to his bank accounts.

Paul McNaughton pleaded guilty to the murder of Peter Coshan and to perverting the course of justice.Police Scotland

When Mr Coshan found out about the thefts, he threatened to go to the police unless McNaughton provided him with free sexual favours, and McNaughton hatched a plot to kill the retired teacher after becoming “fed up” with the situation.

Following the killing, McNaughton, along with his flatmate Paul Black, 65, hid the pensioner’s body until about August 15, when they put it in a suitcase and drove it to a layby on the A696 between Otterburn and Belsay in Northumberland, where they dumped it next to a wall.

McNaughton, who admitted murder and attempting to pervert the course of justice in 2023 before Black’s trial, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars when he was sentenced at Glasgow High Court on Monday.

Black was cleared of murder following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh in May, with the jury returning a not proven verdict.

 Peter CoshanPolice Scotland

However, during the trial he admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice and was sentenced to five and a half years for that.

The judge said Mr Coshan was a “much loved brother, uncle and friend and much respected colleague”.

Lord Scott told McNaughton: “Mr Coshan was a gentle and committed friend who enjoyed life despite his Parkinson’s diagnosis five years earlier,”

“You exploited his illness and vulnerabilities over a period of time before deciding that he must die.

“You planned to murder him entirely for your own benefit.

“On the evidence, he was murdered almost immediately after he was dropped off at the flat in a taxi.

“You lured him under carefully planned pretences and perceptions.

“After exploiting him in life and taking significant financial benefit from him, you continued to do so in death.

“There was not a moment’s peace before you carried out the rest of your plan.

“With a cold and calm motive, you went to his home and took bank cards to help yourself to more of his money.

“After that you stopped to buy takeaway food then busied yourself with a spending spree for several days.

“You siphoned more money, mostly to spend for yourself and planned a holiday and retained a watch that you pawned.

“You and your co-accused covered up the crime to avoid the consequences of this awful act.”

In a statement issued through Police Scotland, Mr Coshan’s family thanked those who have supported them.

They said: “Their continued support has, without doubt, helped us through this nightmare and has been an amazing display of the best of human nature.

“This is in stark contrast to the worst of human nature, which was displayed by the individual who took Peter’s life.

“We remain horrified that anybody could have treated a vulnerable 75-year-old in such a despicable manner.

“Our life will never be the same and we will always ask the question, ‘What if?’

“There is, of course, no answer to ‘What if’, as events have overtaken us and there is no going back in time.

“However, we have happy memories of Peter and can reflect on the positive impact he had on so many people’s lives.”

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