Scottish stabbing victim's mum heard brutal scissor attack while on phone

Edinburgh University employee Paul Smith was stabbed with scissors 32 times close to Edinburgh Castle in May.

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 2:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th November 2019, 7:44 am

A mother heard her son pleading for his life as he was brutally stabbed to death near Edinburgh Castle by a deranged stranger.

Margaret Smith was on the phone to Paul Smith, 28, when he was suddenly attacked by George McAdam in May this year.

Paul – an IT analyst at Edinburgh University – was stabbed with scissors 32 times by McAdam, who had been released from jail two weeks earlier.

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Edinburgh University employee Paul Smith was stabbed with scissors 32 times close to Edinburgh Castle in May.

Paul was returning from his lunch break when the 40-year-old attacked him near to the Capital's busy Princes Street Gardens.

Prosecutor Ashley Edwards QC told the High Court in Glasgow: “He was still chatting to his mother by telephone.

“She then describes hearing 'a horrific scream'. She heard her son saying: 'Help me...need police, need police.”

Margaret immediately yelled to her husband Ian to dial 999.

Paul an IT analyst at Edinburgh University was stabbed with scissors 32 times

But, tragically their son never survived the attack close to Edinburgh Castle.

A judge heard McAdam initially fled the scene – but was rugby tackled by a brave passer-by at a nearby car park.

McAdam today faced a murder charge when he appeared in court.

But, he was formally acquitted after prosecutors accepted his not guilty plea on the basis he “lacked criminal responsibility” at the time due to a mental disorder.

Members of the public heard Paul's cries, but the court heard McAdam appeared oblivious to a crowd that was gathering.

McAdam will remain at the State Hospital at Carstairs.

The court heard McAdam had been sleeping rough in Edinburgh at the time.

He had a lengthy list of convictions in Scotland and England, including possession of a knife and assault.

He had been freed from HMP Edinburgh on May 15 – just over a fortnight before the killing.

Police and paramedics spent more than 30 minutes trying to save Paul.

Graduate Paul was attacked after visiting a KFC restaurant for lunch.

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He was on a call to his mother as he returned to work around 1.45pm on May 30.

Miss Edwards: “His mum immediately told her husband to call police as their son needed help.

“She stayed on the phone to her son.”

The court heard McAdam grabbed Paul, who tried to defend himself.

Miss Edwards: “McAdam repeatedly stabbed him in the chest area. Paul Smith shouted 'he's stabbed me' and fell to the ground.”

McAdam then dragged his victim down a steep embankment while continuing the attack.

This included him kneeling beside Paul and striking him “multiple times” on the body and neck.

Members of the public heard Paul's cries, but the court heard McAdam appeared “oblivious” to a crowd that was gathering.

Miss Edwards: “Given the steep incline witnesses felt unable to reach Paul Smith.

“One threw a stone at McAdam in an attempt to scare him.”

Blood-soaked Paul, of the capital's Balerno, repeatedly raised his hands to try and keep his attacker away.

He also kicked out at McAdam, who eventually raced out of Princes Street Gardens.

Paul ended up rolling down the steep hill before emergency services arrived to help him.

Police and paramedics spent more than 30 minutes trying to save his life.

He had 32 stab wounds mainly in the neck area.

His carotid arteries and jugular vein had been struck. Paul also had a number of “small puncture wounds”.

Miss Edwards: “His injuries would not have been survivable even with medical intervention.”

Horrified witnesses meantime followed McAdam. He was seen washing his blood covered hands in a puddle.

Civil engineer Raynold Richards was one of the people who followed McAdam.

The attacker – while clutching the scissors – screamed at the man: “Do you want it?”

Mr Richards initially backed off, but then tracked McAdam to a nearby NCP car park.

Miss Edwards: “When McAdam reached the top of the steps, Mr Richards bear-hugged him from behind, lifted him up and took him to the ground.

“The blood stained scissors were taken from McAdam. He was restrained until police arrived.”

The court heard McAdam was later seen by psychiatrists and was found to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Lord Turnbull today ordered him to remain at Carstairs on an interim compulsion order.

The case will call again in February.