Best friend killer sentenced to 14 years

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A MAN who killed one of his best friends in a frenzied knife attack during a row at a party has been jailed for at least 14 years.

Robert Gracie, 23, was said to have been “like a maniac” and foaming at the mouth when he set upon father-of-one James Tierney with a nine-inch blade.

The 27-year-old welder was stabbed eight times in front of onlookers and suffered massive blood loss. The two men were said to have known each other since childhood.

The fatal row erupted after Gracie became upset, believing people at the party he threw at his West Lothian home had shown a “lack of respect” for the property. Gracie warned that he was going to go “mental” moments before the attack at Letham Place, Pumpherston, on April 2 last year.

During an earlier hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh, he admitted murdering Mr Tierney.

At the High Court in Aberdeen yesterday, judge Lord Uist sentenced Gracie to life in prison, with a minimum of 14 years before he is considered for parole.

The judge said the attack “defied comprehension”. He reduced the sentence from 16 years for Gracie’s plea of guilty.