Killer murdered man just weeks after being freed from jail

Gerard McGinlay stabbed Peter McElroy during an attack last year.

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A killer had only been out of jail for three weeks when he murdered a man in broad daylight in North Lanarkshire.

Gerard McGinlay, 39, stabbed Peter McElroy during the attack in Airdrie on April 12 last year.

A passing taxi driver rushed to help the 45 year-old victim, but he never survived.

McGinlay, who was released from a previous jail term on March 20, 2020, was convicted of the lockdown murder following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Prosecutor Greg Farrell then revealed to jurors the killer had a history of violence including assaults and possession of an offensive weapon.

He now faces a life sentence when he returns to the dock in September.

The taxi-driver told the trial how he had been walking home from a shift around 4pm when he could hear shouting near Bell Street, Airdrie.

He then spotted five men including McGinlay and Mr McElroy.

The witness said Mr McElroy was trying to “walk away”.

He recalled McGinlay throwing what he thought were punches at the victim, but then clocked a knife.

He told jurors: “I saw the two swipes…I then heard: ‘Ah, you have stabbed me’.”

McGinlay was said to have replied: “There you go…lying again.”

The court heard the group then “casually” walked off leaving a stricken Mr McElroy.

The witness immediately raced over to the blood-soaked victim and shouted for help.

He told the trial: “I was saying to him: ‘Be still, you are going to be alright’. 

“However, he had a worried look in his eye. He never said or whispered anything.”

The taxi driver stayed with him until mercy crews arrived.

But, the court heard Mr McElroy effectively “died in front of” him.

Prosecutor Mr Farrell asked the witness: “You had gone and done your best to assist the man?”

He replied: “Correct.”

Lord Matthews adjourned the case for reports until September 14 in Airdrie.

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