Man who stabbed electrician found guilty of murder

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

A man who stabbed an electrician in the neck outside a social club in Edinburgh has been found guilty of murder.

Paul Smith, 43, attacked Andrew McCarron, 49, with a blade, following an altercation in Lochend Road South on July 21, 2019.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how months earlier Mr McCarron’s family member – a man called Jamie Bell – started dating Smith’s former wife Nicola Johnstone.

The court heard how Smith nursed a grudge towards Mr Bell, whose mother Catherine, 52, was engaged to Mr McCarron.

In the months leading up to the attack, Smith sent a series of text messages to Nicola in which he threatened Jamie.

On the night of the fatal incident, Smith armed himself with a large knife and went to visit Edinburgh City FC’s social club where members of the Bell family were enjoying a night out.

Mr McCarron tried to stop the situation from escalating into trouble. But Smith rammed the blade 15.5 centimetres – more than six inches – into his throat.

Doctors fought to keep Mr McCarron alive. But he later lost his fight to stay alive.

The story emerged following the end of a three day trial at the High Court in Edinburgh. Smith, also of Edinburgh, admitted stabbing Mr McCarron but denied murdering him.

Smith’s lawyer Brian Gilfedder told jurors that evidence in the case showed his client was guilty of the lesser crime of culpable homicide.

However, jurors found him guilty on a charge of murder.

Judge Lord Burns remanded Smith in custody ahead of a sentencing hearing next week. He told him that he would be imposing a life sentence on him.

Lord Burns added: “There is only one sentence which I can impose in this case.

“Before I can proceed I have to determine what is known as the punishment part of the sentence – that is to say the time in prison you will have to serve before you are eligible to apply for parole.

“I will therefore adjourn sentence for a period of one week and you will be remanded in custody.”

Mr McCarron worked as an electrician for an Edinburgh based company called David Love Property.

After the attack, Mr Love wrote that his “good friend and irreplaceable employee Andy McCarron” was a “true gentleman”.

Smith will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on October 29.

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