Man killed stepdad at home then took dog for a walk

Dale Berwick fatally punched and kicked Thomas Adams after they got into an argument in Glenrothes earlier this year.

Man killed stepdad at home then took dog for a walk Police ScotlandSNS Group

A man who killed his stepdad then went to walk the dog has been jailed for more than five years.

Dale Berwick fatally punched and kicked Thomas Adams, 65, at the family home in Glenrothes, Fife, on February 20 this year.

The 29-year-old had recently moved back there after struggling with a love split.

His lawyer said a “well meant” pep talk by Mr Adams eventually resulted in violence.

First offender Berwick was jailed for five years and a month at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday.

He had earlier admitted to a culpable homicide charge.

Lady Stacey told him: “You tried to deal with the break-up by taking the wrong turn.

“Your mum and stepdad tried to help you as they could see the whole thing was having a bad effect on you.

“However, it all ended in tragedy and it was down to your violent act.”

The judge cut the sentence from eight years due to his guilty plea.

Berwick had been described as “dealing poorly” with the breakdown of a relationship.

Hours before the killing, he left the house after an apparent argument with Mr Adams. When he returned, he lashed out at his stepdad, who was holding a cup of coffee.

Mr Adams had just came back from taking a young relative to McDonald’s for dinner.

The child rushed to get Berwick’s mum Jacqueline Adams – Mr Adams’ wife – who found the men confronting each other.

Prosecutor Shanti Maguire said: “In the course of the struggle, Berwick punched Thomas three or four times to the chest.

“He then kicked him causing him to fall. The child witnessed Berwick kick Thomas on the chest.

“Thomas indicated that he was struggling for breath. Berwick then kicked him again.”

The killer fled as Mr Adams begged his wife to call an ambulance before collapsing onto a table.

Police arrived first and found the OAP grey and unresponsive.

Due to paramedics being “some distance away”, officers carried out CPR.

A defibrillator was also tried to revive Mr Adams – but police could not use it when a “warning” signal showed on the device.

Mr Adams was initially found to have a swollen neck as a result of a collapsed lung. He never survived the attack.

Ms Maguire then told the court: “After initially attending the scene – and before the ambulance arrived – police went to look for Berwick.

“He was located close by walking a dog. He was arrested for assaulting Thomas.”

After being held in custody, Berwick called his mum, who confronted him about the death of her husband.

He insisted it was “accidental” and that it was a “massive mistake”.

The court heard Mr Adams died as a result of blunt force chest trauma associated with rib fractures. This also affected the lungs.

Tony Lenehan, defending, said: “This was a spontaneous event rather than a pre-meditated one.

“What he took as an argument was almost certainly well-meant, but exasperated, words from Mr Adams about the direction that he was heading.”

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