Current Location

Fetching weather...

Drug-fuelled intruder murdered dad in his own home

Liam Hay smashed his way into Anthony McGladrigan's house before launching knife attack.

A killer who brutally murdered an innocent dad after a five-day drugs binge has been jailed for at least 19 years.

Liam Hay stabbed Anthony McGladrigan nine times at the victim’s home in Cuminestown, Aberdeenshire, last June.

The 20-year-old – described as “delusional” – had been chasing a friend, who went to Mr McGladrigan’s house nearby for help.

Hay instead turned on the 51-year-old hotel worker, who shouted to his wife Fiona: “Oh my god…I have been stabbed”.

Hay was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on Monday having earlier pleaded guilty to murder.

Lady Stacey branded the killing as “shocking” and “incredible”, adding: “I suspect what you did makes no sense to anyone.”

She went on: “I know that, by your actions, you have deprived Mr McGladrigan’s family. He was a man who had much to offer.

“I know from statements from his family that he is sorely missed.

“Mr McGladrigan was the sort of person who tried to help others, if he could.

“He let your friend in and, in so doing, he ended up losing his life, as you followed.”

A hearing was told Hay and friends had been bingeing on drink and drugs at various places between June 21 and 26, 2019 – the day of the killing.

Prosecutor Erin Campbell said this included taking cocaine and the stimulant M-Cat.

At one stage, Hay partied at his grandparents’ house while they were on holiday in Spain.

The property was just a short distance from Mr McGladrigan’s family home.

Hay was described latterly as “tripping” and his behaviour “increasingly strange”.

Around 4.30am on the morning of the murder, Hay’s friend Austen Smith tried to wake him.

The killer got up, but then grabbed a baseball bat and claimed he “wanted a word” with him.

Liam Hay smashed his way in through the back door. Pics: Crown Office

A scared Mr Smith immediately raced out of the house as farm worker Hay yelled threats at him.

Mr Smith thumped on the door of Mr McGladrigan for help.

The dad – who worked at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Aberdeen – had been in bed with his wife shortly after finishing a shift.

Mr McGladrigan let Mr Smith in and shouted to his wife: “Stay in the room. He says he is being chased by someone with a bat.”

A bare-footed Hay then ran up and tried to open the door to the house.

Mr McGladrigan pleaded with him: “No, I am not letting you in. Calm down – put the baseball bat down.”

Instead, he used the weapon to smash glass and force his way in.

The court heard it was not known exactly what happened next, but Hay appeared to have grabbed a knife from the victim’s home.

Mr McGladrigan screamed: “Oh my god, are you crazy? I have been stabbed.”

His wife dialled 999 as she desperately tried helping her stricken husband.

Hay remained hiding in the house still clutching the murder weapon before police swooped.

Mr McGladrigan was rushed to hospital in Aberdeen, but never recovered from “multiple” stab wounds to his back and chest.


You're up to date

You've read today's top stories. Where would you like to go next?