Glasgow & West Scotland

Isabelle Sanders death: Jury urged to convict 'evil' accused

Isabelle Sanders Image copyright BBC - police handout
Image caption Isabelle Sanders died after suffering 37 stab wounds

Jurors in the Isabel Sanders murder trial have been told the accused is an "evil" man who carried out a "barbarous catalogue of violence and destruction".

In his closing speech at the High Court in Glasgow, advocate depute Bruce Erroch, prosecuting, said there was "no doubt" of Paul McManus' guilt.

The 20-year-old has denied murdering Ms Sanders at her Crookston home in April.

Defence QC Gordon Jackson said the Crown had not established his client was responsible for the "bloodbath".

Mr McManus, from Glasgow, denies murdering Ms Sanders at her home at 77 Raeswood Drive, Crookston on 9 April.

He is also accused of attempting to murder her 86-year-old partner Norman Busby, and the attempted carjacking and stabbing of Daniel O'Donnell hours earlier in Barrhead Road, Glasgow, on 8 April.

'Let justice be done'

He is further accused of stabbing and attempting to rob Ching Long Law, in Nitshill Road, Glasgow, on 2 April.

In the witness box on Tuesday, Mr McManus admitted stabbing Mr Busby, Mr O'Donnell and Mr Law, but blamed his former friends Ross Arthurs and Christopher O'Reilly for the murder of Ms Sanders.

Advocate depute Mr Erroch told the jurors: "In the days of early April, real evil - and I don't use that term lightly - stalked the streets of the south side of Glasgow in the guise of Paul McManus.

"There can be no doubt that Paul McManus is guilty, convict him of all the crimes and put a stop to him. Let justice be done."

Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Paul McManus denies murdering Isabelle Sanders during a robbery at her home

Mr Erroch told the court that Mr McManus was responsible for "a horrific and barbarous catalogue of violence, depravity and destruction".

He added that there was "not one shred of evidence" for Mr McManus's claim that Mr Arthurs and Mr O'Reilly were at 77 Raeswood Drive that night.

The prosecutor told the jury: "It is a ludicrous, ludicrous story you have been asked to swallow. There was only one man there and that was Paul McManus."

Mr Erroch said that there were bloodstains on jogging trousers and a tracksuit top belonging to Mr McManus which matched Ms Sanders DNA.

He told the jury: "There is more than enough evidence to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Paul McManus is guilty of all the offences, including the murder of Isabelle Sanders."

Mr Erroch, referring to 8 April into the early hours of 9 April, spoke of a day in the life of Mr McManus.

'Savage attack'

The prosecutor said: "What a day that was. It started with the shoplifting of Buckfast in the afternoon, working up to assault and attempted robbery, then the attempted murder of Norman Busby and culminating in the murder of Isabelle Sanders.

"Ms Sanders had 61 separate injuries. She had 37 stab wounds to her head, face, chest and back, mostly to the left side of her body. She had defensive wounds, particularly to her right hand. She had injuries to her heart and her pulmonary artery and both lungs.

"Paul McManus has admitted going to Raeswood Drive armed with two knives. This was a savage, savage and forceful attack on a defenceless woman.

"He stabbed her not once, not twice, not three times, but 37 times. Isabelle Sander's killer intended that she should die."

Image caption The attack took place at Ms Sander home in Crookston

In his closing speech, Mr Jackson told the jury of nine women and six men that the Crown had not established that Mr McManus had murdered Ms Sanders,

"If the Crown can't establish that you can't convict him," he said.

The QC admitted that Mr McManus was no angel and added: "This is a young man who has behaved very, very badly.

"He has admitted things and is going to jail for them. I don't ask you to like him this is not about him, this is about the evidence."

Mr Jackson told the jury that Mr McManus admitted stabbing Mr Law on 2 April, robbing an off-sales on 8 April and stabbing Daniel O'Donnell on 8 April and attempting to rob him of his BMW.

The court heard that Mr McManus also admits stabbing Mr Busby, but not attempting to murder him.

Mr Jackson said: "My client went there and stabbed Norman Busby, but he did not attempt to murder him.

'Hellish bloodbath'

"Mr Busby got stabbed, but my client wasn't there to stab anybody. He was trying to steal a car, which seems to be a bit of an obsession. He didn't go there to stab anyone.

"What I need to speak to you about is the murder of Isabelle Sanders. He says he never did it. He never touched her. He says that it was somebody else that did it or perhaps more than one person."

Speaking of the two men McManus has incriminated - Mr Arthurs and Mr O'Reilly - Mr Jackson said: "You wouldn't trust Arthurs to buy you a loaf. And Mr O'Reilly knows where he was the night of the incident, but not the night before it or the night before that."

Mr Jackson added: "This was a bloodbath. This was hellish. Blood everywhere and on clothing linked to McManus there is Isabelle's Sanders blood, but he says he wasn't wearing the items."

The trial before judge Lord Armstrong continues.

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