Clive Carter jailed for life for Khanokporn Satjawat SECC murder
- 29 October 2013
- From the section Glasgow & West Scotland
A security guard has been jailed for life after being convicted of brutally murdering a female conference delegate at Glasgow's SECC complex.
Clive Carter, 35, bludgeoned 42-year-old Khanokporn Satjawat with a fire extinguisher in a ladies toilet at the Clyde Auditorium on 12 November 2012.
He denied murder and claimed he killed the Thai woman while suffering from diminished responsibility.
At the High Court in Glasgow, Carter was jailed for a minimum of 20 years.
Carter was also found guilty of orchestrating a cover-up after the murder by washing blood off the fire extinguisher, hiding his bloodstained blazer and telling police he had seen a mystery Asian man carrying an extinguisher in the aftermath of the killing.
He was also convicted of committing a breach of the peace at the Holiday Inn Express, Stockwell Street, Glasgow, on 4 November 2012, by knocking on the door of Stephanie O'Brien's room while carrying a fire extinguisher and claiming there had been a report of a fire.
The two-week trial heard how Ms Satjawat died while attending a conference for HIV drug therapy at the auditorium, which is part of the SECC complex.
She sustained massive head and facial injuries after being battered with a fire extinguisher in a female toilet.
Jailing Carter, judge Lord Matthews said: "Khanokporn Satjawat was a hard-working, well-educated and dedicated lady who came to this country to participate in a conference whose purpose was the alleviation of suffering and the saving of lives.
"It is cruelly ironic that in the course of such an event of that the life of that fragile lady should be taken in such a brutal fashion with an instrument whose primary purpose is also the saving of life at the hands of a man to whom she should have been able to look for assistance."
Lord Matthews told Carter: "You are plainly, on the evidence, a man who is disturbed. However, you are deeply disturbing as the evidence in this trial has amply demonstrated, including the evidence as to the events at the Holiday Inn Express.
"One is left to wonder what the outcome might have been had Stephanie O'Brien not had the presence of mind to extricate herself from the hotel room before the situation escalated.
"However, your activities that night have understandably their left mark on her.
"You accepted responsibility for killing Khanokporn Satjawat. However, accepting that you murdered her, it is plain that you took significant steps in the immediate aftermath of her death to cover your tracks."
Lord Matthews told Carter it was up to the parole board to decide when, if ever, he is released.
After Carter was led away to start his sentence, Lord Matthews told the jury of eight women and seven men: "Ms Satjawat was a completely innocent individual who came here to enjoy a conference and her body went back to her sister."
Carter, from Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, was working as a G4S security guard at the Clyde Auditorium when he murdered Ms Satjawat.
The trial heard how Ms Satjawat's blood was found on Carter's trousers, and on the sleeve of his work blazer and cuffs of his shirt.
Forensic scientist Josephine McKain told the court this was "impact spatter" which was likely to have been caused by Ms Satjawat being struck while she was bleeding.
Pathologist Dr Marjorie Turner told the court that the conference delegate died from "blunt force trauma to the head" and suffered massive injuries to her face and skull.
The jury was also told that Carter's DNA was found on the sleeve of the jumper Ms Satjawat was wearing when she was killed.
In evidence, Carter claimed to have no memory of the killing or alleged attempts to cover it up.
He said his next memory after talking to Ms Satjawat was of eating sandwiches for his lunch.
His lawyers, who urged the jury to find him guilty of culpable homicide, also claimed he had a personality disorder which diminished his ability to control his actions.
But jurors rejected this and found him guilty of murder after just over three hours of deliberation.
The jury heard that Carter had major issues with anger management.
His GP sent him to counselling, but he stopped going after two sessions because the counsellor annoyed him.
One of Carter's defence team, solicitor advocate John Paul Moberry, said: "Given the verdict of the jury there is very little I can say. Mr Carter approached this trial with the position that the death of this lady was caused at his hand.
"There has been evidence before the court of Mr Carter's medical state and there is nothing to add. Mr Carter has no relevant previous convictions and he has never been in prison before."
Following sentencing, Det Supt John McDonald, of Police Scotland, said: "We are satisfied that Clive Carter has been brought to justice for the murder of Khanokporn Satjawat.
"This was a particularly brutal and senseless attack which claimed the life of an innocent woman and caused fear and alarm to those who were attending the conference at the SECC last November.
"We sincerely hope that this verdict will bring some comfort to the relatives of Ms Satjawat."
A spokesman for G4S said the firm would like to pass on its "deepest condolences to the family of Khanokporn Satjawat".
"This was a brutal and unprovoked attack and the sentence passed today reflects the severity of the crime," he said.
"We are grateful to the police and the criminal justice system for conducting such a professional investigation in securing this conviction and to our client, SECC, for their cooperation during this difficult process.
"We would also like to recognise the efforts of our own staff, many of whom provided evidence as witnesses, and behaved with strength and professionalism in very distressing circumstances."