A former soldier who bludgeoned his best friend to death with a dumbbell and took pictures of his body has been jailed for life.
Kyle McAuley will spend at least 18 years behind bars after beating Kevin McCluskey over the head with the dumbbell five times.
The early-morning attack took place last March within a flat in Nelson Street, Greenock.
The 30-year-old killer took pictures of his 28-year-old victim as he lay dead or dying, and sent them to two women before calling 999 and telling police he had found a stranger lying outside his flat.
The photographs that were sent to McAuley’s partner and ex partner, showed Kevin’s face covered in blood and with horrific injuries.
At the High Court in Glasgow on Tuesday Lord Mulholland ordered McAuley to spend at least 18 years in prison and told him that whether he is ever released will be a decision for the parole board.
The judge added: “You have been convicted of murdering your friend. You bludgeoned him with a dumbell weighing seven kilos, hit him five times and while he lay dying you cared only for yourself.
“You photographed his dead or dying body and sent photos to your ex-partner and your then girlfriend.
“You moved his body and tried to make it look as if he had a knife and you had killed him in self-defence, but the jury saw through your web of lies.”
The court heard Kevin was smashed on the back of the head by McAuley and then after he fell onto a bed he was hit again and again by the weapon.
McAuley told police officers who arrived first at the murder scene referring to his friend Kevin: “Get this f****** guy away from me.”
He initially claimed he didn’t know Kevin, but later told police that he was acting in self defence as his friend came at him with a knife.
Kevin suffered a fractured skull, smashed cheekbones, jaw and nose and bruising to the brain.
McAuley was convicted of murdering Kevin and attempting to pervert the course of justice by moving Kevin’s body and placing a knife near it.
Defence QC Thomas Ross said: “They had been friends for many years without a cross word.
“Hours before the incident they were caught on CCTV in a pub in good spirits and enjoying a night out.”
McAuley showed no emotion as he was led away to the cells.