Man jailed for life over football social club murder

Andrew McCarron died after being attacked by Paul Smith, 43, outside a social club in Edinburgh.

Man jailed for life over football social club murder Police ScotlandSTV News

A man who murdered an electrician by stabbing him in the throat outside a football social club in Edinburgh has been jailed for life.

Paul Smith, 43, was ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years in prison for the killing of Andrew McCarron, 49, before being eligible for release.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Smith had gone out armed with a knife after months of sending threatening texts to his ex-wife Nicola Johnstone about her new partner Jamie Bell.

Smith was driven by an “obsessive hatred” of Mr Bell and a disturbance broke out when he went to the club where the Bell family were enjoying a night out in July 2019.

When Mr McCarron, 49, who was engaged to Mr Bell’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 Mr McCarron, who was originally from Birmingham, but denied murdering him. However, 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.

Prosecutor Lisa Gillespie QC 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 Mr McCarron, 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 Brian Gilfedder said Smith had “expressed remorse and awareness of the devastation” he had caused to the friends and family of Andrew McCarron.

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