Knifeman gets life for friend’s murder

Brian Mair was murdered in Hawick last year
Brian Mair was murdered in Hawick last year
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A MAN who murdered his friend of ten years in a savage knife attack, after he claimed the man had made a bad joke about his mother, has been jailed for life.

Derek Kinghorn, 44, was found guilty after an eight-day trial at the High Court in Livingston last month of repeatedly striking Brian Mair, 45, originally from Edinburgh, on the head and body with a knife and murdering him in his home in the Borders town of Hawick on November 1 last year.

During the trial, the jury heard Kinghorn had drunk ten cans of beer and smoked several cannabis joints with his pal prior to the attack. Kinghorn claimed Mr Mair had made a joke about his mother.

He told the court: “He didn’t know my mother and I found it disrespectful to talk about someone else’s mother. I love and respect my mother and I don’t like someone saying anything about her.”

Kinghorn got an eight-inch knife from the kitchen and attacked his friend. One stab pierced Mr Mair’s shoulderblade, passing through his lung and severing the main artery leading to the heart.

At the High Court in Edinburgh Kinghorn’s defence counsel, Neil Murray QC, said the attack had been an appalling act on behalf of his client, who recognised the obvious distress it had caused to 
relatives and friends of both families.

Kinghorn, said Mr Murray, had had difficulties in his life with drugs. Seeking to distance himself from the lifestyle he had been leading previously, he had become a hermit.

In shutting himself off, he suffered from hydrophobia and paranoia. The QC said that the risk assessment report stated it was highly unlikely he would act in this manner in the future.

Sentencing Kinghorn, temporary judge Michael O’Grady QC told him: “There is, of course, only one sentence which I can impose and that is a life sentence.