Glasgow & West Scotland

Machete killer who beheaded victim has minimum jail sentence cut

David Collins, Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption David Collins dismembered his victim's body

A double killer who beheaded and dismembered his murder victim has had his minimum jail term reduced.

David Collins, who previously killed his father, was jailed for life after murdering Kevin Bishop in a machete attack.

His lawyers appealed against the 26-year minimum period he must spend in jail before applying for parole.

Judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh have now ruled that the punishment part should be 22 years.

Keith Stewart QC, for 47-year-old Collins, told the appeal judges that he recognised "the extreme gravity" of the crimes he had committed.

He said: "He has, moreover, a significant criminal history, including a conviction for culpable homicide."

The lawyer said it was acknowledged that the trial judge was bound to select a significant punishment part of the sentence. But he argued that, in the light of similar cases, the sentence was excessive.

Image caption Kevin Bishop's torso was found in a bin outside Collins' flat

During his trial at the High Court in Glasgow, Collins denied murdering Mr Bishop, 32, at his home in Paisley, Renfrewshire, in July last year.

But a jury rejected his defence of self-defence and provocation and convicted him of the crime.

The trial judge, Lady Rae, told Collins that he had gone to "elaborate lengths" to destroy evidence which might have implicated him in what appeared to be "a motiveless killing".

The victim's torso was found dumped in a wheelie bin outside the flat.

Collins had previously killed his father, also David, in an attack with a sword.

The Lord Justice Clerk, Lady Dorrian, heard the sentence appeal with Lord Menzies and Lord Turnbull.

Reported missing

She said that, following the decision in the 2011 case of Robert Chalmers, they would make the punishment part one of 22 years.

Chalmers, then 59, was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum term of 23 years for the murder of Samantha Wright.

He hid Ms Wright's remains at his home in Magdalene Drive in Edinburgh in June 2008.

Ms Wright, from Hertfordshire, was reported missing in January the following year on what would have been her 25th birthday.

It was second time that Chalmers had committed murder.

He previously stabbed William White, 47, to death at his home in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, in 1973.

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