Alami Gotip 'murdered after garlic bread row'

Jamie Ellis
Image caption,
Jamie Ellis stabbed Alami Gotip more than 30 times

A teenager pleaded guilty to murdering a young mother-of-two in a knife attack after a row about garlic bread.

Jamie Ellis stabbed Alami Gotip, 22, more than 30 times at her home in the Dedridge area of Livingston, West Lothian.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that her young children were asleep upstairs at the time of the attack on 25 May.

Ellis, 18, said he snapped because she had been "moaning at him" because he had not made garlic bread for tea.

He later told police he felt their relationship was coming to an end and said: "I love her that much I can't possibly imagine her with anyone else."

Ellis, who is being held at Polmont young offenders' institution, now faces a life sentence.

Ms Gotip, of Nigel Rise, Livingston, worked at HM Revenue & Customs and was described in court as a "bubbly and outgoing" person who loved life.

The court heard the "caring and supportive" 22-year-old helped to raise two of her siblings, who had health problems, and also helped to look after her mother.

After the death, her mother, Karen McKenna, told police that Alami was her "best pal".

"She's a loss that can never, ever be replaced," she said.

Image caption,
Alami Gotip suffered multiple stab wounds

"She shouldn't have been taken away from me. I loved her so much, she was a big part of my heart. I don't know how I am going to go on without her."

Speaking outside court, Ms Gotip's cousin, Robert McKenna, 31, said the death penalty should be brought back for Ellis.

At the time of the killing, unemployed Ellis had been in a relationship with Ms Gotip for seven months.

It was kept a secret from most of her family.

The victim had two young daughters from a previous relationship with Neil Henderson and, despite their relationship ending in November last year, they remained close friends and shared childcare responsibilities.

Ms Gotip and Ellis broke up several times during their relationship and he was jealous of Ms Gotip's continued relationship with Mr Henderson.

Judge Lord Glennie called for reports and deferred sentencing until 5 October at the High Court in Glasgow.

Graeme Jessop, interim district procurator fiscal for Livingston, said it was a "particularly disturbing" crime.

"Jamie Ellis stabbed Ms Gotip more than 30 times in the neck and chest, and inflicted multiple other injuries to her body with a knife," he said.

"Mr Ellis committed this offence after taking a number of valium tablets and smoking several cannabis joints.

"The repercussions of this tragic incident will stay with both of Ms Gotip's children for the rest of their lives."

Det Insp Phil Gachagan, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "The brutal violence Alami Gotip was subjected to prior to her death is testament to the violent and remorseless character of James Ellis.

"Despite being in a relationship with Miss Gotip and although her children were sleeping within the property, Ellis showed her no compassion during the attack and inflicted several serious injuries upon her.

"I would like to thank Miss Gotip's loved ones for all of their assistance and support during this investigation, and I sincerely hope that, following James Ellis's sentencing, they can begin to move on with their lives."

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