Man who killed ex-soldier 'friend' jailed for eight years

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A 38-year-old man who killed an ex-soldier in an unprovoked attack has been jailed for eight years and four months.

Garrie McCann repeatedly punched his "friend" William Prieston on his head and body at his flat in Falkirk.

Mr Prieston, 43, never recovered from his injuries and died weeks later in hospital.

McCann pleaded guilty to a charge of culpable homicide at the High Court in Glasgow.

A previous hearing was told that Mr Prieston, who was known as Billy, had served with the Household Cavalry.

He was medically discharged due to a number of serious injuries suffered during combat.

Prosecutor Derick Nelson said: "He had nerve damage and metal plates inserted in his jaw, arms and shin.

Blood-soaked

"This was due to a rocket-propelled grenade striking the tank in which he was travelling."

The court heard that Mr Prieston gave McCann £20 on the night of the killing.

The men later ended up at Mr Prieston's flat, which he shared with girlfriend Suzanne Currie.

Mr Nelson said: "The attack happened after she had gone to bed, leaving them in the living room.

"She was woken by a disturbance and went through to find McCann on top of her partner assaulting him."

The prosecutor added: "He had pinned Mr Prieston's arms down using his legs rendering him defenceless."

Ms Currie called 999 for help, shouting to the operator that Mr Prieston was being attacked by his "pal".

She managed to push McCann off her blood-soaked partner.

The victim was able to say McCann pounced on him "all of a sudden".

Mr Prieston's condition deteriorated in hospital and he ended up suffering from pneumonia while in intensive care.

Multi-organ failure

The court was told life support was withdrawn on 7 December 2019 and Mr Prieston died the next day.

The cause of death included multi-organ failure.

McCann, of Redding, Falkirk, was traced shortly after the attack.

His QC Thomas Ross told the court: "He and Mr Prieston had been friends for about nine years.

"They had got on well together and there had never been a cross word between them."

Mr Ross added that the attack had been a "short burst of violent conduct".

Judge Lord Weir ordered McCann be supervised for three years on his release.

The judge said: "There was no justification for subjecting the late Mr Prieston to such an assault."

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