Killer Meldrum Hazell jailed for cannabis plants

Meldrum Hazell being led away from court after being convicted of the murder of John Sutherland in 1994.

Meldrum Hazell being led away from court after being convicted of the murder of John Sutherland in 1994.

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A DEAF killer who threw his friend out of top storey flat after repeatedly stabbing him with a butcher’s knife is back behind bars - after he was caught growing cannabis.

Meldrum Hazell was jailed for life after he was found guilty of stabbing John Sutherland in an Edinburgh flat before he flung the 48-year-old victim 122-feet from his top-floor Edinburgh flat.

Crazed Hazell had stabbed Mr Sutherland a total of 18 times after he claimed the man had entered his bedroom as he slept wearing just a shirt and underpants and armed with the butcher’s knife.

Hazell, 53, had claimed he had been terrified during the incident and thought Mr Sutherland, who was also deaf, was about to sexually molest him.

During the struggle Hazell managed to wrestle the large knife from Mr Sutherland and stab him 18 times, including one wound that penetrated his heart.

Hazell then picked the man’s body up and threw him out the window of his flat in the Peffermill area of the capital in 1993.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment following a five-day trial at Edinburgh High Court in April 1994, and was subsequently released on a life licence ten years later.

Now the killer is currently back in custody after he was caught growing four cannabis plants at a house in Wallyford, East Lothian, on June 15.

Hazell appeared at Haddington Sheriff Court on Wednesday where he admitted to growing the Class B drug.

The court heard Hazell, from Edinburgh, was remanded in custody after admitting his guilt at the court after having his life licence recalled by the parole board.

Solicitor Graham Morrison said his client also had an outstanding assault case to answer, though no court date to answer that charge had yet been set. The solicitor also said Hazell will appear in front of a parole board hearing to determine his future on 24 September 24.

Mr Morrison said: “This is clearly a serious matter and he produced four cannabis plants for his own use. The consumption of cannabis was to keep him calm, effectively.”

Sheriff Peter Anderson deferred sentence to 17 September.