Man serving life for murder of neighbour dies in prison

In 2018, Rene Howieson was ordered to spend at least 14 years behind bars for the murder of Colin Skilbeck.

Man serving life for murder of neighbour dies in prison STV News
Prison: Rene Howieson died at HMP Shotts.

A man who was serving a life sentence for the murder of his neighbour has died in prison.

In 2018, Rene Howieson, 39, was ordered to spend at least 14 years behind bars for the murder of Colin Skilbeck.

Howieson admitted throwing boiling water and sugar over his victim before repeatedly stabbing him during an attack in Edinburgh in March 2017.

Mr Skilbeck, 41, suffered nine knife wounds, with one penetrating his heart.

Howieson’s wife and co-accused, Kathleen Downey, was also jailed for five years after admitting culpable homicide for her part in the fatal assault.

Victim: Colin Skilbeck was killed on his doorstep.
Victim: Colin Skilbeck was killed on his doorstep.

During Howieson’s sentencing at the High Court in Glasgow, Lord Armstrong said: “The narrative presented to the court indicates that the fatal assault was premeditated and that you went to his home armed with a weapon, meaning to do harm. 

“This was not therefore a spontaneous incident which happened on the spur of the moment. I take into account also the fact that the attack happened at Mr Skilbeck’s home, where he was entitled to feel secure.

“There are no reasons which could possibly justify the taking of another’s life, as you did.”

On Monday, the Scottish Prison Service confirmed Howieson had died at HMP Shotts in North Lanarkshire.

A statement posted online said: “Rene Howieson, 39, a prisoner from HMP Shotts has died. 

“He was convicted at Glasgow High Court in 2018. 

“Police Scotland have been advised and the matter reported to the procurator fiscal. 

“A Fatal Accident Inquiry will be held in due course.”