A killer murdered his friend then set fire to his body after a row about a minor bike accident.
Jordan Dickson left Craig Sneddon, 41, with at least 18 wounds after a brutal knife attack on January 17 this year.
The 25-year-old then fled the scene, but later confessed to a woman he had left the dad-of-one “burnt to a crisp”.
A couple walking their dog later that morning made the grim discovery of Mr Sneddon’s charred remains under Dickson’s burning bike on Fordel Path in Dalkeith, Midlothian.
Dickson – who was on a curfew at the time – has now been jailed for a minimum of 19 years after he pled guilty to murder at the High Court in Glasgow on Friday.
Dickson had gone to Mr Sneddon home in Wallyford, East Lothian, the night before the killing.
In the early hours, the pair were spotted on Dickson’s Kawasaki bike.
They eventually ended up at Fordel Path sometime after 12.30am.
Prosecutor Eric Robertson then told the court: “There are no eyewitnesses to what happened there, but Jordan Dickson accepts that while there had assaulted Craig Sneddon in terms detailed in the charge.”
The indictment stated Dickson murdered his friend by repeatedly striking him with a knife and then set fire to his body.
Dickson phoned a taxi to collect him around a mile from the scene to get him away and he headed to his home in Musselburgh, East Lothian.
He went on to speak to a number of people in the hours after.
This included claiming to his sister Bianca that he had been in a “fight” with Mr Sneddon and “said something about a bike”.
Around 4.30am, he stated to a friend: “I need help. I cannot talk on the phone.”
Dickson added to this man there allegedly had been a confrontation between him and Mr Sneddon.
Prosecutor Mr Robertson said: “He told the man that after he stabbed Craig Sneddon in the neck, he poured petrol on top of him, placed the motorcycle on top and set fire to him.”
Dickson then went to the home of a friend of his other sister yelling he was “in trouble” and had “killed someone”.
The advocate depute told the hearing: “She did not believe him. He said he had ‘burnt the guy to a crisp’. He said he was referring to Craig Sneddon.”
The killer later jumped on a bus in Wallyford and confessed to a passenger: “I am going to get done with murder.”
It was around 9am that morning the tragic discovery of Mr Sneddon’s body was made.
A couple had first noticed rising smoke and the smell of burning.
Mr Sneddon’s body was initially too badly damaged to be identified.
Relatives became concerned when they could not contact Mr Sneddon that morning.
They went on to learn it was his body found at the path after DNA tests.
Mr Robertson said he had suffered at least 18 wounds to his face, head and neck.
Pathologists said they could “not fully rule out” the possibility of other stab injuries.
After initially being held the next day, Dickson told police: “I do not understand. No comment.”
Dickson’s lawyer said he accepted his reaction to anything which apparently happened that night was “disproportionate”.
Ian Duguid, defending, said the pair had “embarked on a journey” on the bike with Mr Sneddon later in control.
The QC went on: “There was a collision or a minor accident and both came off the motorcycle.
“It was that event which caused the argument between the two men.”
Mr Duguid said Dickson claimed Mr Sneddon had initially gone for him before the killer viciously lashed out.
Lady Stacey handed Dickson a life sentence.
She told him: “What you did was wicked and cruel. After what happened, you did nothing by way of reporting or trying to get help.
“You did nothing apart from setting fire to his body. The family of Craig Sneddon will find that extremely hard to deal with.”
Detective chief inspector Bryan Burns said: “Jordan Dickson subjected Craig Sneddon to a brutal attack which ultimately resulted in his death.
“He has now admitted his responsibility for this and will face the consequences of his actions.
“Our thoughts are with Mr Sneddon’s family and friends at this time. We hope that the conclusion of this case brings at least a degree of closure for them.”