Glasgow & West Scotland

Peter McDermott jailed for murder of his father Bernard

Peter McDermott Image copyright Central Scotland News Agency
Image caption Peter McDermott claimed he could not remember killing his father

A man who stabbed his father more than 20 times in the head, neck and body has been jailed for life for his murder.

Peter McDermott, 42, killed 65-year-old Bernard McDermott in a drunken attack at his father's home in Greenock, Inverclyde, on 23 April last year.

He claimed to have been unaware what he was doing but a jury rejected this and convicted him of murder.

At the High Court in Stirling, a judge told McDermott to serve a minimum of 20 years before he can apply for parole.

Lord Uist told father-of-two McDermott: "When you were extremely drunk you argued with your father and went to the kitchen and obtained a knife, despite the attempt by a friend to stop you, and then proceeded to stab your father 26 times as he sat in his chair.

'Brutal and callous'

"This was indeed a brutal and callous murder."

The court heard that McDermott had drunk a bottle of fortified wine before going to his father's flat where he consumed vodka.

As a friend looked on, then unsuccessfully tried to disarm him, he collected a nine-inch steak knife from his father's kitchen and began striking him with it.

The friend ran from the flat and rang 999, while McDermott, staggered from the scene of the crime.

While an ambulance crew tried to save his father's life, McDermott walked about Greenock, hid the knife in a nearby park and went to two local pubs.

He was later arrested as he was about to wash the blood from his hands in a public toilet.

The court heard that he asked the arresting officer: "Is he dead yet? He had it coming. He deserved it."

During the eight-day trial, McDermott admitted delivering the fatal blows, but his defence claimed he was suffering from a "dissociative episode", while re-living childhood trauma, and did not realise what he was doing.

'Burn, Baby Burn'

McDermott claimed his father was abusive and had beaten and threatened his late mother.

He claimed that on the morning of the incident, his father had chanted the words "Burn, Baby Burn" - a song which evoked memories of his unhappy childhood.

He said he mentally "cut off" on hearing the song, and had no recollection of launching the frenzied attack.

McDermott wept repeatedly while giving and listening to the evidence, and claimed he was "shattered and heartbroken" to have killed a man he insisted he loved.

Jurors, however, did not believe his story and convicted him of murder.

Two women jurors wept when the court was told that McDermott had a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2006.

He had three convictions for possessing offensive weapons, two convictions for possession of a knife, and had been released early from a prison sentence, for possessing a knife, the day before he killed his father.

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