NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Man jailed for killing best friend in Aberdeen

Darren Barnes known as Riley and Arnage Place
Image caption Darren Riley killed his friend in Arnage Place

A man found guilty of killing his best friend in Aberdeen has been jailed for 10 years.

Darren Barnes, 29, known as Riley, denied murdering 26-year-old Robert Reid in Arnage Place in October 2016 and lodged a special defence of self defence.

Riley inflicted 21 stab wounds on Mr Reid.

A jury at the High Court in Aberdeen earlier found him guilty by majority of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Sentencing Riley at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Kinclaven said relatives of the deceased had been left "devastated" by their loss.

The judge said: "There is no alternative to a significant custodial sentence."

Defence counsel Ian Duguid QC said the victim had been Riley's best friend for "best part of 14 years since they were at school together".

'Blink of an eye'

He said they had been drinking and taking valium and were enjoying each other's company - until violence suddenly broke out.

Riley told the trial that they had a fight after Mr Reid "wasn't happy with something I said".

He claimed that Mr Reid punched him and cut him with a knife and he went into "fight or flight" mode and maintained: "I was fighting for my life".

Mr Duguid said there was really no premeditation to Riley's offence.

"Two minutes before all this happened there was nothing between them and this all arose almost in the blink of an eye," he said.

The defence counsel said Riley bitterly regretted what had happened.

'Clear risks'

Mr Reid was described at the time of his death as a "much-loved father".

Relatives said in a statement: "We are devastated that his children will have to grow up without their father."

Det Insp Gary Winter, of Police Scotland, said: "The death of Robert Reid was a tragedy involving two men who had been friends for years.

"The events which unfolded that fateful night demonstrate the clear risks of mixing alcohol with drugs which, on this occasion, resulted in a needless violent confrontation between them involving a knife.

"As the result of such a meaningless act of violence Mr Reid's children are now without their father, while his partner and family must continue to deal with the loss of such a young life.

"Barnes must now also face the consequences of his brutal actions that day."

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