My beautiful daughter’s killers are evil cowards

Calum Muir said Nattalie was a great mum to her three-year-old, Paige
Calum Muir said Nattalie was a great mum to her three-year-old, Paige
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THE father of a young mum who was killed in a frenzied attack organised by her schoolboy lover has branded her killers “evil cowards”.

Nattalie Muir, 21, was killed in the attack in a street in Whitburn, West Lothian, last December.

The 15-year-old schoolboy and two friends who killed the young mum after she aborted his baby, were yesterday jailed for a total of more than 30 years.

The teenager had sworn revenge on Miss Muir, who had become pregnant by him and then had a termination before going back to an ex-boyfriend.

The schoolboy and 34-year-old George Stewart yesterday appeared at the High Court in Glasgow after admitting to the culpable homicide of Miss Muir.

Emma Merrilees, 20, who struck the fatal blow during the brutal assault, joined them in the dock after pleading guilty to a murder charge.

Lord Matthews said he was “sick” of the “mindless violence” involved in the incident.

The judge locked up the 15-year-old for six years and Stewart was jailed for eight years and five months.

Merrilees was handed a life sentence and ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years before she can apply for parole.

The victim’s dad Calum Muir, 42, later branded his “lovely” daughter’s killers “evil cowards”. He urged First Minister Alex Salmond to focus more on violent criminals rather than sectarianism.

Mr Muir said: “I am satisfied enough, but no sentencing will be enough in my eyes.

“Mr Salmond has spent time trying to take sectarianism out of football grounds, but songs have never hurt anyone – knives and axes have.

“We will continue to be a proud family while this ratpack (the accused) go back to their temporary homes. They will always be evil cowards.”

He added that Miss Muir was a “great mum” to her three-year-old daughter and will be “sorely missed”.

The court earlier heard how Miss Muir had been in a relationship with the schoolboy over a four-month period until last October, following a split from boyfriend Thomas Thyne.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC said: “She became pregnant and decided to terminate the pregnancy. She then got back with Thomas Thyne and that annoyed the 15-year-old, who pestered her with phone calls.”

The court was told that the boy – who had been drinking with his co-accused prior to the killing on December 11 – then spoke about going to Whitburn to “fight” Miss Muir.

A friend’s car was then loaded with a spade and an axe, while Merrilees brought a six-inch knife. Miss Muir and Mr Thyne were walking in the town’s Brucefield Drive when a car pulled up beside them.

Mr Thyne was chased off before the young mum was repeatedly punched and Merrilees struck her with the blade.

Miss Muir was discovered by a passer-by. Mr Prentice said: “He heard the deceased saying what he thought was ‘beige’, but it is likely to have been her daughter’s name, ‘Paige’.”

John Keenan, defending Merrilees, said the murderer had been “remorseful and tearful”.

Lord Matthews interrupted at one point, saying: “Why did she do it? It is mindless violence – I am sick of it.”