Man who killed stranger on street before going to a party jailed

Robert Greig booted Craig Watson in the head during the savage street attack in Dennistoun on April 17 2022.

Robert Greig who attended party after killing Craig Watson in street attack over trivial comment jailed STV News

A man who killed a stranger following a trivial comment before going to a party has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Robert Greig, 32, was part of a savage street attack on Craig Watson, 39, in Dennistoun, Glasgow in the early hours of April 17 2022.

Greig booted the father-of-two to the head from which he never recovered.

The killer’s 21-year-old nephew Kieran Crawford along with Jamie Fullerton, 21, Laughlin Duffy, 19, and a now 17 year-old boy – who cannot be named due to his age – had earlier been involved in setting upon defenceless Mr Watson.

The five had been due to stand trial at the High Court in Glasgow all accused of murder.

But, Greig instead pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of culpable homicide while others admitted to assaulting Mr Watson to his severe injury in May.

A judge heard how the victim suffered more than 30 injuries.

Lord Arthurson also jailed Crawford and Fullerton for two years while Duffy and the younger boy received 18-month sentences.

The judge told all five: “This was a feral, concerted attack on a man unknown to you.

“You have expressed remorse now but not one of you contacted emergency services.

“You attacked this man while he was on the ground and Mr Greig accepts criminal responsibility for kicking him on the head.”

The court were told how the the group had all been together in the hours before – Mr Watson meantime had been at a friend’s home in the same street.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice KC said none of the five were known to the victim.

Mr Watson was outside around midnight while the others stood at the gate of Crawford’s house.

A 16-year-old girl was with the five attackers.

Mr Watson ended up speaking with her and Greig. He was then heard to make a remark seemingly about the girl.

Mr Prentice said: “There was a brief argument between Mr Watson and Greig about this comment, which resolved fairly quickly.”

The girl went on to tell Fullerton, Duffy and the now 17-year-old about the comment.

The trio soon got into a row with Mr Watson about it before Crawford also came out.

Greig – who was also still there – appeared initially to try and calm matters before being heard to state: “I have had enough. Just fight.”

Mr Prentice said: “The five then charged towards Mr Watson, who tried to run away.

“They surrounded Mr Watson and began assaulting him – punching and kicking him about the head and body as the group moved further up the street.”

The victim fell and initially got back up – but the group went at him again.

Mr Prentice said: “Mr Watson was overwhelmed by them and did not fight back.

“He fell to the ground again as blows continued to be delivered to his head and body.”

The 16-year-old desperately tried to haul some of the group off him.

Mr Watson was still attempting to get back to his feet.

But, Mr Prentice then explained: “Greig delivered a forceful kick to Mr Watson’s head.

“He slumped over and stopped moving. The five then left the scene with the girl.”

Members of Mr Watson’s family were at the hearing on Monday and a number left the courtroom distressed on hearing this before returning.

A resident discovered the dad lying motionless in the street.

Paramedics went on to try and save him, but he never recovered.

The court heard he had a total of 36 external injuries – including a bruise to his face consistent with the imprint of a sole of a shoe.

Mr Watson had an enlarged heart for his age and size which could have caused serious health complications.

Mr Prentice said the “risk of death” would be increased at times of “physical or psychological stress” and/or the use of stimulant drugs.

He later added: “While the Crown accepts the kick (by Greig) was not murderous, it was, ultimately, the blow which led to the fatal disturbance to Mr Watson’s heart rhythm.”

After the attack, Greig and Duffy made their way to a “birthday party”.

It was during that, Duffy called two friends boasting how he had been fighting and that “they had battered someone”.

In other texts, he confessed kicking Mr Watson to the face.

All five attackers were held on April 20 2022 during the then murder probe.

Brian McConnachie KC, defending Greig, told the sentencing that the comment was the “catalyst” for the offence.

He added: “He was trying to calm down the situation but then involved himself in it and by his plea of guilty he accepts responsibility.”

Ian Duguid KC, defending Crawford, stated that his client thought his friends were involved and he went outside.

The advocate said: “I don’t know if he intended to be involved the way he was.”

Gordon Jackson KC, defending Fullerton, told the sentencing that his client showed genuine feelings and the case “weighed heavily” on him.

John Scullion KC, defending Duffy, stated that his consumption of alcohol “provides an explanation for his impulsive behaviour.”

Iain McSporran KC, defending the 17-year-old, tried to persuade the judge for a non-custodial disposal and cited the young person’s sentencing guidelines.

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