Glasgow & West Scotland

Garry Kane jailed for life for murder of Kathleen Milward

A heroin addict has been jailed for life for murdering his grandmother at her home in South Lanarkshire.

Garry Kane, 41, had denied attacking 87-year-old Kathleen Milward in Stonehouse on 3 January 2012.

Following a trial, he was convicted of murdering the OAP, who suffered 15 head and neck injuries from "blunt force trauma".

Kane was told that he must serve a minimum of 17 years in prison before being eligible to apply for parole.

Jailing him, judge Lord Matthews told Kane at the High Court in Glasgow: "You were found guilty of the murder of your own grandmother. No words of mine can bring home the enormity of that.

'Heinous crime'

"What made it more heinous was that she was murdered in her own home, where she was entitled to feel safe, in brutal circumstances."

Lord Matthews added: "There is no doubt this crime has ripped apart your family who are themselves serving a life sentence.

"It appears from the evidence that there was a close bond between you and your grandmother. She took you in when you were in need and you had every reason to be grateful to her.

"I can only rationalise this crime was committed because of a craving for heroin, a pernicious drug which has ruined many lives."

Outside court members of Kane's family spoke to the media but were split on the question of his guilt.

Kane's 64-year-old mother, Kathleen, insisted that her son was innocent and said he would be appealing his conviction.

In tears, she said: "We are taking immediate steps to lodge an appeal. I'm feeling very sad. My son is in prison. He is doing someone else's time. He did not kill his gran.

"The relationship he had with his gran was so close and so loving.

"There is someone else out there thinking they have got away with the perfect murder.

"I have lost my mum. I was her carer and she was my best friend. I've lost my only child. He did not commit this crime and that will come out later on."

'Sad for family'

Mrs Kane's sister Maureen Kennedy - Kane's aunt - said that she believed that he was the killer.

She added: "The sentence will change nothing for me. I am just sad for the whole family. Nothing will bring my mother back."

During Kane's trial, the court heard how he had left home at 18 or 19 and had served in the army and lived in England.

He returned to Scotland in 2007 and lived with his mother at first, but she threw him out after he became a drug addict and stole items from her home.

Kane later went to live with Mrs Milward, where he was staying at the time she was killed.

In evidence, Kane's mother, Kathleen, told how she had asked her son to check on his grandmother on the night she died after getting no answer to a phone call.

She also told jurors that he had immense love and respect for his grandmother and she would never cover up for him if she thought he had killed her.

In his evidence, Kane claimed that he had left his grandmother's home at about 18:00 to go and buy drugs with money she had given him as a Christmas present.

He said he received the call from his mother and returned to the house in Stonehouse after going to another man's home about a drug deal.

Kane broke down as he described finding Mrs Milward on the kitchen floor and then performing CPR after phoning the emergency services.

Blood traces

The court heard, however, that traces of Mrs Milward's blood were later found on Kane's jeans and boots.

A post-mortem examination revealed she suffered 26 external injuries.

Jurors heard how 15 of these on her head and neck were caused by "blunt force trauma" had been "a key factor in her death".

The court also heard from drug dealer David McFarlane, 50, who described how Kane had bought £5 bags of heroin from him the day after Mrs Milward died.

He said that during the encounter Kane had "never cracked a light" that his grandmother had died the day before.

Following a two-week trial, the jury of eight men and seven woman convicted Kane of murder by majority verdict.

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