Murderer stabbed man to death with steak knives then dumped clothes in river

Kevin Geoghegan attacked Peter Kirkwood as he left a pub in Lanark following an evening with friends.

Kevin Geoghegan stabbed Peter Kirkwood to death with steak knives in Lanark then dumped clothing in river Police Scotland

A murderer who stabbed a man to death and got rid of his clothes in a river has been handed a life sentence.

Kevin Geoghegan, 46, pounced on Peter Kirkwood, 24, in Lanark, South Lanarkshire, on July 16 2022.

Geoghegan had earlier barged into Kirkwood and his group of friends as they left a nearby pub.

The attacker – who was armed with two knives – went on to grab a traffic cone and goaded the group.

Geoghegan then struck Mr Kirkwood’s body and arm at least seven times with the fatal blow being to his upper chest.

He then fled the scene, cleaned himself up, changed his clothing and dumped them into the River Clyde.

Geoghegan was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow of murdering Mr Kirkwood.

He was also convicted of assaulting Mr Kirkwood’s friend to his injury.

Geoghegan, of Lanark, was given a minimum punishment part behind bars of 18 years by Judge Lord Clark.

He said: “The murder involved stabbing Mr Kirkwood at least seven times with one of them causing his death.

“The knife entered his chest cavity, went through his lung, penetrating the heart, damaging an artery which gave rise to his death afterwards.

“This was a vindictive attack with serious brutality.

“There is no sentence I can impose which can alleviate the devastating impact of the family members of Mr Kirkwood.”

Mr Kirkwood’s family and friends – who all wore his favourite colour red in the public gallery – were visibly emotional after the verdict was read out.

The court heard that Mr Kirkwood and his friends had been at the Wallace Cave pub.

Geoghegan had been at a friend’s house drinking and walked on a route which would take him to his mother’s home.

Jurors watched CCTV of agitated Geoghegan shouting at passing cars and arguing with a taxi driver.

Geoghegan was seen to put his hand in the taxi driver’s open window and struck him to the head.

Mr Kirkwood and his friends left the Wallace Cave around 1am when Geoghegan ran and barged through the group.

He then went on to pick up a traffic cone.

Geoghegan told the court that he and the group shouted at each other with him being heard to say “Ha ha dafty.”

Prosecutor Erin Campbell asked Geoghegan if he was goading the group and he replied: “I suppose so.”

Geoghegan carried on walking down the road which Ms Campbell suggested was him “waiting” on the group.

He told the court that he had two serrated steak knives in his pocket but denied looking for trouble that night.

Geoghegan claimed that he was attacked by two men and he swung the blades about.

Ms Campbell said: “Somehow you managed to get Mr Kirkwood four times on the upper chest?”

Geoghegan replied: “Yes.”

Ms Campbell: “Just randomly swinging them about?”

Geoghegan: “Yes.”

The advocate depute went on to say: “I suggest that you pulled out the knife and there was a scuffle between you and you lost it.

“You pulled out another knife and stabbed him?”

Geoghegan replied: “No.”

Jurors heard that Mr Mehmedov also received a slash to his face.

Geoghegan claimed that it was him that was “fighting for my life” and that it was self defence.

He told John Scullion KC, defending, that he received cuts bleeding and bruising from the alleged attack on him.

Geoghegan claimed that he put one of the knives and his clothes in a bag and “threw them in the Clyde.”

Mr Scullion asked: “Did you mean to kill Mr Kirkwood?”

Geoghegan replied: “No.”

Mr Scullion said: “How do you feel that he sustained fatal injuries?”

Geoghegan replied: “Gutted.”

Police attended to see Mr Kirkwood’s “inconsolable” brother Mark Kirkwood cradling him.

He was heard to say: “Don’t die, don’t die you are my brother.”

The trial heard that the fatal wound Mr Kirkwood’s cartilage required “moderate force.”

There were wounds and bruises to Mr Kirkwood’s face, arms and legs which were not contributory to his death.

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