Teen murdered man by stamping on face causing spine to sever

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had admitted killing Frank Sinclair but denied murdering him.

A teenager has been convicted of murdering a 61-year-old man by stamping on his face so savagely his spine was severed from his head.

The 17-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had admitted killing Frank Sinclair but denied murdering him.

However on Tuesday, a jury found him guilty of murder after deliberating for around two hours. He now faces a life sentence.

The teenager gave evidence and admitted killing Mr Sinclair, stating: “I’ve still not got over it. I just feel destroyed.”

The High Court in Glasgow heard that the teen launched the murderous attack – stamping full force on Mr Sinclair’s face and neck at least two or three times – minutes after trying to help him.

The teenager and three female friends – all aged 16 or 17 – came across Mr Sinclair lying on the ground at the rear of Westwood Community Centre, Riverton Drive, East Kilbride, at around 8pm on January 19 last year.

Initially the teenager tried to help Mr Sinclair up, but became angry when they both over-balanced and fell to the ground.

The teen believed that Mr Sinclair had pushed him, causing him to scrape his face off the community centre wall.

The teen admitted: “I just lost my temper. I just lost it.”

He later stated: “I didn’t know what I did to him would kill him.”

Mr Sinclair had 19 injuries to his face and neck including a fractured Adam’s apple. A vertebrae at the top of his spine was severed causing internal decapitation.

David Henderson, 50, a friend of Mr Sinclair, said they had a couple of pints in the Westwood Bar and then bought Buckfast and drank it at the steps at the rear of the community centre.

He said of Mr Sinclair: “He was always happy. We were just having a blether at the stairs.”

He told the jury when he left after 6pm to go back to the pub, Mr Sinclair was sitting on the steps rolling a cigarette.

The teen was also found guilty of an unprovoked attack on an 18-year-old man by punching him on the head and body at Westwood Stores in East Kilbride about an hour before the murder.

Sentence was deferred until next month for a background report and an assessment of the danger he poses to the public.

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