Magdalene Drive murder: Trio convicted of ‘horrifically violent’ Edinburgh murder
Two men and a woman have been convicted of the ‘horrifically violent’ murder of Stephen Grant at a flat in the east of Edinburgh.
A sister, a friend and her younger brother are facing life in prison after being convicted of murdering her former boyfriend.
Ashleigh Wallace,27, her sibling Shaun,19, and Patrick Herbert,37, took 49-year-old Stephen Grant’s life in July 2018.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how the trio killed Stephen at a flat in the city’s Magdalene Drive.
The trio stabbed Stephen 10 times - inflicting wounds on his head, body and legs - before repeatedly striking him with “objects” which remain unknown to police.
Neighbours heard Ashleigh shout ‘kill him, kill him, kill him” during the attack. Herbert and Shaun Wallace removed Mr Grant from the flat and then dumped him outside on a back green for him to die.
Herbert then obtained his victim’s mobile phone and used it to take a series of selfie photographs of himself. He then went to sell Valium to drug users in Edinburgh city centre.
However, the trio were later arrested after police found DNA evidence which linked them to the crime scene. They also discovered Mr Grant’s blood on clothing and shoes belonging to the accused.
Detective Inspector Bruce Coutts, from Corstorphine CID, said: “Mr Grant was subjected to a horrifically violent and sustained attack which cost him his life.
“He was left for dead in the back garden by Ashleigh Wallace, her brother Shaun Wallace, and Patrick Herbert, who showed complete disregard for Stephen’s life and have shown no remorse for their actions.
“We understand that this incident was a shock to the local community and I would like to thank them, along with Stephen’s family and friends, for their assistance as our investigation was ongoing.
“Violent crime has no place in society and will not be tolerated in Edinburgh. Although nothing will bring Stephen back we hope that today’s decision will allow them some closure as they begin to move forward in their lives.”
On Wednesday, during the 14th day of proceedings, jurors found the three accused guilty of murder.
Judge Lady Carmichael remanded them in custody and deferred sentence for the court to obtain reports on their characters.
She said: “The sentence for this offence will inevitably be life imprisonment. I’m adjourning this sentence and ordering social enquiry reports. You will be sentenced at a future diets.”
The three accused, all from the Edinburgh area, denied murdering Mr Grant on July 8 last year.
During proceedings, the court heard how Mr Grant used to be Ashleigh’s partner but that the pair split because Mr Grant allegedly had a drink problem.
The jury also heard how before he died, a court had imposed an order on Mr Grant from contacting Ashleigh because he allegedly subjected her to physical attacks.
Investigators weren’t able to establish the reasons why Mr Grant was attacked, but the trio preyed on him on July 8, 2018.
Prosecutors claimed that before the attack, Herbert was heard shouting ‘wakey, wakey Stevie where’s the money?”
The trio then subjected their victim to a horrifying attack. Mr Grant was left to die from a series of debilitating wounds - his attackers fled and travelled to other locations in Edinburgh.
Herbert left to sell drugs in Edinburgh city centre. He later met up with the Wallaces and returned to the scene.
Investigators arrested the trio shortly afterwards and found incriminating forensic evidence which linked them to the crime. They found Mr Grant’s blood on clothing belonging to the accused and DNA which linked them to the attack.
Following his detention, Herbert told police officers that he didn’t see the problem with returning to the crime scene.
Speaking about Mr Grant, he said: “I thought he would just have got up and left because he had got a kicking.”
Herbert also claimed that when he took the selfies, he did not know the victim was dying.
When Shaun Wallace was detained, he initially denied to police that he knew Mr Grant. But then said: “I do know him. But I just didn’t see him that day.”
Police uncovered enough evidence to show that he was lying and that he was an active participant in Mr Grant’s death.
The court also heard that Ashleigh Wallace had a deodorant can and shouted ‘kill him, kill him, kill him”.
But Herbert claimed to police officers “I didn’t hear her shout it.”
The jurors also heard that Ashleigh then wrote a letter to her mum, Kirsteen Kinmond, about what had happened from prison.
She told her mum that Shaun had nothing to do with the murder and that she “couldn’t live” knowing that her brother could be jailed for something he didn’t do.
In the letter, Ashleigh said: “I know I couldn’t live with the fact that Shaun could be getting the jail because of me and my really bad temper.
“Shaun’s done a lot of things in his life but he never done anything this time that deserves him going to the jail.
“There’s one last thing I would like you to do for me. If you can tell Shaun’s lawyer, I was the one who do it and I scared Shaun so much he thought I would do it to him.”
She also said that Mr Grant physically abused her.
She wrote: “Stevie just took the total p*** out of me. Stevie battered me so many times that I lost count.
“He was only out the jail two days and he battered me again.”
However, jurors concluded there was enough evidence available to show that she and her brother had murdered Mr Grant.
Following conviction on Thursday, prosecution lawyer Graeme Jessop told Lady Carmichael that Herbert had 15 previous convictions for violence and dishonesty.
Mr Jessop also said that Shaun Wallace had one previous conviction and that his sister had five previous convictions.
Mr Jessop said Mr Grant had three brothers and three sisters and a 24-year-old son.
Friends of Mr Grant shouted “Get in there” when the jury delivered the verdict.
Lady Carmichael also thanked the jury for their service.
The trio will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on April 25th.
Sign up to our newsletter: enter your email in the box at the top of this article to get daily updates straight to your inbox.