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

Craig Watson pronounced dead after being found seriously injured in April 2022.

Robert Greig who killed Craig Watson in Dennistoun before going to a party convicted STV News

A man who killed a stranger following a trivial comment before then going on to a party has been convicted.

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 kicked 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 on Thursday to the reduced charge of culpable homicide.

Robert Greig, 32, was part of a savage street attack on Craig Watson.Police Scotland

The others admitted to assaulting Mr Watson to his severe injury.

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

All of the attackers – other than the 17-year-old – were remanded in custody pending sentencing in July.

The court was told how those involved had all been together in the hours before – Mr Watson meanwhile 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: “There was a brief argument between Mr Watson and Greig about this comment, which was resolved fairly quickly.”

Jamie Fullerton (left) and Kieran Crawford (right) admitted to assaulting Mr Watson to his severe injury.Police Scotland

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: “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 mob went at him again.

Mr Prentice: “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 men away.

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 left the courtroom distressed on hearing the details of the attack 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.

Greig appeared from custody for the hearing, but lawyers for the remaining four asked for them to remain on bail pending sentencing.

Only the 17 year-old was given bail as the case was adjourned for reports.

Following the conviction, detective superintendent Cammy Miller said: “My thoughts remain with Craig’s family and friends.

“Violence like this has no place in our society and we will continue to work closely with our partners to bring perpetrators to justice.”

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