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One-punch killer ‘celebrated like Rocky’ after attack

John Aitken killed Thomas Craig with a single punch outside a nightclub in Greenock.

Greenock: John Aitken was jailed. STV/Deborah Mooney

A man killed a peacemaker with a single punch outside a nightclub and then celebrated like fictional boxer Rocky.

John Aitken was jailed for six years on Wednesday after killing Thomas Craig in Greenock, Inverclyde.

The High Court in Glasgow heard the attack took place moments after the two men and others left a nearby nightclub.

Witnesses told the court Mr Craig hadn’t posed a threat to Aitken, but was attacked nevertheless.

Eyewitness Christopher Masterton, 40, said Mr Craig was trying to calm down a row involving Aitken and other men.

Mr Masterton, a taxi driver, said as Mr Craig lay on the ground, Aitken “put his arms in the air” before walking off.

Defence advocate Ian Duguid QC asked Mr Masterton: “Are you saying the man raised his hands in the air as if he was Rocky in some sort of boxing match?”

Mr Masterton replied: “Yes.”

Scene: Police cordoned off the area. STV

Aitken, who had 37 previous convictions, denied culpable homicide and lodged a special defence of self-defence.

But jurors rejected Aitken’s claims and convicted him of culpable homicide.

Lord Woolman said: “Mr Craig was older than you. Eyewitnesses told the court of how he adopted a defensive posture in the moments before the assault.

“The fact that you had taken alcohol at the time of the offence is no excuse. Your actions resulted in the loss of life and this makes the offence a serious one.

“Mr Craig’s son has written a victim impact statement and he cannot put into words the impact that loss of his father has had on his life.

“The sentence in this case will be one of six years.”

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