A man who stabbed his victim to death after taking a cocktail of drugs before stealing further narcotics from him told police he couldn’t remember the killing.
Sean O’Halloran, 20, made the admission to detectives after being arrested for murdering Scott Hector at a house in Marischal Court, Aberdeen, on April 2, 2021.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how O’Halloran and Conor Adams, 18, went to the property with a friend called Carly Cairns. The trio were attending a get-together thrown by the householder Rhiann Parks.
The court heard that the duo had gone there in an attempt to obtain drugs from Mr Hector.
But upon arriving at the address, O’Halloran stabbed his victim on the body once and stole drugs belonging to the dead man.
Judge Lord Armstrong heard how detectives interviewed O’Halloran later on the same day and he told them he couldn’t remember what happened.
Prosecutor David Dickson said: “At 21.43 hours on April 2, 2021, O’Halloran was interviewed.
“He confirmed he had gone to Cairns’ home address where he had consumed alcohol but could not remember what happened.
“He was further interviewed the following morning where he said he did not want to get anyone into trouble, had gone to Cairns’s house, he ingested cocaine, valium and cider and then attended with Cairns and the accused Adams at a party in Aberdeen.
“He was cautioned and charged and made no reply.”
O’Halloran, of Bradley Terrace, Aberdeen, pleaded guilty to a charge of murdering Mr Hector at 50 Marischal Court in Aberdeen by stabbing him on the body with a knife.
Adams, of Gordon Mills Crescent, Aberdeen, pleaded guilty to a charge of being responsible for the culpable homicide of Mr Hector. The pair also admitted conspiring to rob Mr Hector.
Mr Dickson told the court that on April 1, 2021, Adams and O’Halloran agreed to go to Carly Cairns’s home in Kemnay, Aberdeenshire.
The court heard that whilst at Cairns’s house, the two accused consumed alcohol and at one point took 20 valium tablets between them in less than one hour.
Mr Dickson told the court that Mr Hector was at Rhiann Parks’s home.
He contacted Cairns on Snapchat after she had posted on the social media network that she was looking for drugs.
Mr Hector then made a call and invited Ms Cairns to go the party.
Cairns later told investigators that Mr Hector told her that he had “cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.”
Mr Dickson said that O’Halloran – who had heard Mr Hector’s claims – then interrupted the call and said to him: “Don’t worry lad we will be through.”
Mr Dickson added: “At the end of the call, Cairns’s evidence is O’Halloran said ‘it it’s a boy and a girl, it will be easy to just go in and take the drugs from them and leave again.
“At around 0400 hours, Charles McKay, who has autism, was working at a bakery in Inverurie when he received a Snapchat from O’Halloran asking for a lift from Kemnay to Aberdeen. Charles McKay agreed.
“He drove to Aberdeen with O’Halloran in the front passenger seat. Adams and Cairns were in the rear.
“During the journey, McKay saw both accused with knives. O’Halloran was vocal and indicated that ‘if anyone is going to try anything with me, at least I’ve got this’ in reference to the knife which was visible in his hands.”
The court heard that Adams, Cairns and O’Halloran arrived at the address at 6am.
Mr Dickson said that people at the get-together had been taking lines of cocaine and ecstasy which had been placed on a set of scales.
Describing the moments after the stabbing, Mr Dickson said: “The deceased was heard to say ‘whoa, whoa, whoa’.
“Cairns describes the deceased burst into the kitchen where he fell onto the floor.
“He was holding his side where it was seen he had been stabbed. He was heard to say ‘he’s just stabbed me’.
“Thereafter, O’Halloran picked up the set of scales and said they were to leave.
“Adams, O’Halloran and Cairn ran outside and into the car where McKay was waiting.
“O’Halloran was seen to have blood on his right hand. During the journey, Adams challenged O’Halloran about what happened and said that he, O’Halloran, had gone too far.
“O’Halloran was heard to say it was ‘Scott’s fault’ and he should not have grabbed the knife from him.
“The accused Adams kept asking O’Halloran ‘why did you do that lad?’, ‘you didn’t have to do that’, ‘You’ve gone too far’.
“O’Halloran said he had told the deceased ‘I’m taking that lad’ referring to the scales upon which the cocaine and ecstasy had been placed.
“O’Halloran produced the set of scales in the car saying ‘look what I’ve got’. He was heard to say ‘I told him he should have just gave me it’.”
The court heard that O’Halloran’s DNA was found on the knife used to stab Mr Hector.
A jacket worn by O’Halloran on the night of the murder was also recovered. Officers also found DNA from him and from Mr Hector. The pair were later charged.
Adams’s advocate Mark Stewart KC said his client had no previous convictions and that the court would need reports before he could be sentenced.
O’Halloran’s advocate Ronnie Renucci KC said he’d also reserve his mitigation until reports were obtained.
Lord Armstrong deferred sentence on the pair in order for the court to obtain reports on their background.
He told the pair, who were remanded in custody earlier this year, “You will continue to be detained until then.”
The pair will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on December 15 2022.
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