NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Drug binge killer Liam Hay admits stabbing stranger in his own home

Anthony McGladrigan
Image caption Anthony McGladrigan was fatally wounded by Hay

A man on a five-day drugs binge has admitted murdering an innocent father in his home in Aberdeenshire.

Liam Hay, 20, stabbed Anthony McGladrigan, 51, in Cuminestown in June.

He had been chasing someone, who went to Mr McGladrigan's house for help. Hay instead turned on Mr McGladrigan, who shouted: "I have been stabbed."

Hay admitted murder at the High Court in Glasgow. Sentence was deferred for background reports.

The victim's wife, Fiona, tried to save her husband, but he later died in hospital.

Defence QC Ian Duguid told the hearing: "If there was ever an example for a campaign against the taking of controlled drugs, then this is it."

The court heard how farm worker Hay and friends had been bingeing on drink and drugs at various places between 21 June and 26 June - the day of the killing.

'Increasingly strange'

Prosecutor Erin Campbell said they took cocaine and the stimulant M-Cat.

Hay was described as "tripping", and his behaviour was "increasingly strange".

Early on the morning of the murder, Hay's friend Austen Smith tried to wake him.

The killer got up, but then grabbed a baseball bat and claimed he "wanted a word" with him.

A scared Mr Smith immediately raced out of the house as Hay yelled threats at him.

Mr Smith eventually banged on the door of father-of-two Mr McGladrigan.

Mr McGladrigan - who worked at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Aberdeen - had been in bed with his wife shortly after finishing a shift.

'Are you crazy?'

He let Mr Smith in and shouted to his wife: "Stay in the room. He says he is being chased by someone with a bat."

A bare-footed Hay then stormed up and tried to open the door to the house.

Mr McGladrigan pleaded with him: "No, I am not letting you in. Calm down - put the baseball bat down."

But Hay instead used the weapon to smash glass and force his way in.

Image caption Hay claimed he could not remember the killing

It is not known exactly what happened, but Hay appeared to have grabbed a knife from the victim's home.

Mr McGladrigan shouted: "Oh my God, are you crazy? I have been stabbed."

His wife dialled 999 as her husband slumped to the floor.

Hay remained at the house still clutching the murder weapon until police arrived.

Mr McGladrigan later died due to multiple stab wounds to the back and chest.

When Hay was asked his name by police, he replied: "Lewis Capaldi".

Hay went on to claim he had now "sobered up", but could not remember anything.

'No explanation'

On initially being charged with attempted murder, he said: "What? No way. Honestly?"

Mr Duguid said the killing was a "truly awful case".

He said Mr McGladrigan's family had written "powerful" victim statements, adding Hay was "devastated" by what he had done to others.

Mr Duguid said: "There is no real explanation other than he had consumed over a number of days two controlled drugs."

The court was told Hay struck months after he had been spared jail for making violent threats to a woman.

Lady Stacey deferred sentencing for reports until next month.

The judge told Hay: "You have accepted responsibility for the terrible events that night."

Relatives of Mr McGladrigan earlier said: "Tony was loved, brave and an amazing son, husband, father, brother and exceptional friend. He will be missed every day."

Welcoming the conviction, Det Insp Gary Winter of Police Scotland said: "Our thoughts are with Anthony's family and friends as they continue to come to terms with his tragic and needless loss."

He added: "The consumption of drugs by Liam Hay has been indicated as a contributory factor in Anthony's murder, however if you have voluntarily consumed drugs you are accountable for your own actions and conduct, no matter how catastrophic they may be."

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