Man found guilty of the double murder of partner and brother

Peter Duffy has been convicted of murdering John Paul Duffy and Emma Baillie in Coatbridge in April 2022.

Man found guilty of the double murder of partner and brother after bodies found in Coatbridge Police Scotland

A man has been found guilty of the murder of his partner and his brother at separate addresses in Coatbridge.

Peter Duffy, 47, killed Emma Baillie, 26, and John Paul Duffy, 51, between March and April 2022.

Duffy strangled his partner Emma on an occasion between March 4 and April 12, 2022 at his home in Calder Street in Coatbridge.

He also repeatedly struck her on the head and body with a knife.

Duffy then wrapped her up in a clothing in the wake of a domestic trial against him where she was the victim but didn’t appear as a witness.

The killer then repeatedly stabbed John Paul at his flat with a knife and hid the body under rubbish at his brother’s home in High Coats, Coatbridge between March 29 and April 10, 2022.

He also killed John Paul’s cat Sher Khan with an axe.

Duffy claimed that he found both Emma’s and John Paul’s dead bodies but did not report it as he thought he would get the blame.

Judge Lord Scott stated that it was a “wicked killing against two people” after they jury’s guilty verdict was heard.

He added: “You will be sentenced to life imprisonment – you will receive a punishment period for more than a single murder.

“There is no comfort to be had to those who attended and observed proceedings with dignity.

“No sentence I pass will address their losses.

“You will be going to prison for a minimum period which will make you an old man before you will be considered for parole.”

The High Court in Glasgow heard that police attended John Paul’s home to carry out a welfare check on him on April 10.

Police forced entry to the flat after there was no answer despite noise being heard inside.

Officers initially discovered John Paul’s dead cat in a pool of blood in the hallway of the flat which was in a “state of disarray.”

Duffy was then found wrapped in a sleeping bag on a couch in the living room.

Officers were able to rouse Duffy who told them that his brother was asleep in the bedroom.

There had been another couch in the living room which was initially thought to be just piled high with litter.

PC Emma Gibney recalled: “I was alerted by my sergeant that she had discovered John Paul’s body sitting on the couch hidden under the rubbish that we first observed.”

The constable said the amount of litter had been such that John Paul had not been “noticeable” initially.

PC Gibney: “His skin was grey, eyes white and he looked as if he had been there for a period of time due to the state of decomposition.”

Duffy is stated to have told the officer: “Treat me like an animal, I will treat you like an animal.”

The officer stated that Peter then drifted in and out of consciousness.

A razor was found near Duffy’s body and a knife was recovered in his sock by medics at the hospital.

Duffy was noted to have two bleeding wounds to the side of his neck which he claimed to have caused to himself.

Nurse Jordan Thompson said: “He told me he thought police would be at the door as his brother was there but unfortunately something happened to him.

“He said he wasn’t sure who did it and thought he would get the blame and that’s why he had to do the injuries to himself.”

The witness stated that Duffy told her that he found John Paul’s body a couple of days before the police arrived.

She told jurors: “He said he was shocked but he stayed there in case the person who had been there and did this to his brother came back.”

Prosecutor Angela Gray asked Miss Thompson how Duffy seemed when he gave her the information.

She replied: “He didn’t seem upset or fussed – it was as if it was just a normal thing he was chatting away about.”

Detective constable Nicola Batton told the court that police searched Duffy’s home on April 12.

She stated that she made a “surprising” discovery of Emma’s body.

The officer said that there was a “smell I would never forget” when she entered Peter’s home.

DC Batton stated that Emma’s body was covered in clothing at the bottom of the couch in the living room.

Miss Gray asked if Emma’s body was in an advance state of decomposition and she replied: “Yes.”

It was stated that Emma was not a missing person at the time.

Jurors were told that Emma did not appear as a witness against Peter at a trial on March 17, 2022.

Miss Gray told jurors in her closing speech that Emma was “by now dead for around 12 days” by this point.

Duffy spoke to prisoner Brian Morrison – who later gave evidence at the trial – while behind bars.

He stated to Mr Morrison that “he killed Emma after an argument got violent, that he killed her in his house, that he stabbed her and squeezed her neck in. He told him the plan was to blame his brother.”

Duffy stated in his evidence that he did not strangle Emma.

He claimed the last time that he saw her was a night he said they visited neighbours.

Jurors were told that Duffy pretended to be Emma’s stepdad on March 3 to claim £198 of benefits on her behalf most of which was immediately withdrawn.

John Paul Duffy and Emma Baillie were found dead just days apart in properties in Coatbridge.Police Scotland

It was stated that the money was probably spent on alcohol.

Miss Gray asked when he found Emma’s body and he replied: “She was gone a good few days – three to five days when I found her in the living room.”

Miss Gray: “By that point did you cover Emma?”

Duffy: “I covered her as soon as I found her out of respect.”

Miss Gray: “Respect would be her not decomposing on your living room floor.”

Duffy: “Yes.”

Miss Gray: “Why didn’t you contact the police?”

Duffy: “I thought I would get the blame.”

He also stated that a confrontation between him and John Paul developed which turned violent.

Duffy claimed he stabbed John Paul in self-defence on the shoulder to ward him off and then on the torso to make good his escape.

He then went on to say that after checking his pulse, he struck his brother on the head with an axe.

Miss Gray told jurors in her speech that Duffy had claimed that he was abused by Emma and alleged that she had stabbed him in a previous incident.

In relation to John Paul, Miss Gray said Duffy believed he was: “Another abuser, put up with his s**** all his life, saw him as a chore, abuser, took advice on how to deal with that and doesn’t deserve to be a brother.”

Miss Gray added: “Treated badly by both, in his eyes. He had a reason to kill them both.”

Sentence was deferred pending background reports until next month at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Duffy was remanded in custody meantime.

Detective inspector Campbell Jackson, of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, said: “Our thoughts are very much with the families and friends of John Paul Duffy and Emma Baillie and I hope that the court result brings them some kind of comfort.

“These were horrendous crimes and involved significant levels of violence in what amounted to sustained and horrific attacks. Attempts were made to conceal both bodies.

“In addition, Duffy used bank and debit cards owned by both the deceased and pretended to be his brother who was at that time already dead.

“I would like to thank all officers involved and members of the public who assisted with our investigation.

“Duffy took two lives, showing complete disregard for both families, and will now face the consequences of his actions.

“Violence like this has no place in our society and Police Scotland continues to work with partners to bring those responsible for such crime to justice.”

Peter Duffy will be sentenced at Edinburgh High Court on Friday, March 15.

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