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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Two jailed for life for murder in Scotland

Two men who murdered a man they blamed for supplying drugs that killed their teenage friend have been jailed for life.

Dean Melnyk, 20, and Andrew Brown, 23, were given life – with minimum terms of 20 years – for killing Kevin MacKay, 40, in Ecclefechan last August. They left him with 80 injuries in a frenzied attack in a house hours after the funeral of their friend.

Lord Armstrong told the pair they had been convicted of a “brutal attack”.

“This was an intensely violent attack,” he said. “The only sentence for murder is life imprisonment”.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Melnyk and Brown believed that Mr MacKay had supplied the pill that killed 18-year-old Mr Abba, known as Jabba.

The two men travelled from Lockerbie to a house in Peacock Place, Ecclefechan, and repeatedly stabbed him in a revenge attack last August. The judge told them the incident had not been spur of the moment but was “pre-meditated”. “You wrongly took justice into your own hands,” he added.

He said they had travelled to the village with bladed weapons.

“The court has heard that your victim suffered 80 injuries which were inflicted on the vital organs,” he said. “The court has also heard evidence that without immediate medical attention, your victim could not have survived more than five to 10 minutes.

“This was an intensely violent attack.”

Police said the community had conducted itself in an “entirely dignified way”.

Melnyk, of Lockerbie, and Brown, of Ecclefechan, were convicted of murder following a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow in April.

Sgt Steven Wilson, based in Annan, said the incident had had a “significant” impact on the town.

“We have worked very hard with the community since then and in the weeks and months since that time to reassure all aspects of the community, support the families of the people involved and, ultimately, keep people safe,” he said.

“There have been tensions, that is a certainty.

“However, the community in Ecclefechan and the families involved have, throughout this entire dreadful process, conducted themselves in an entirely dignified way.”

Speaking following the sentencing, Jennifer Harrower, Procurator Fiscal for homicides and serious crime in the West of Scotland, said there was no doubt the pair went looking for Mr MacKay “with the sole intention of doing him serious harm”.

“Minutes after finding him, John Mackay lay dead, brutally murdered,” she said. “Yet again knives used in anger have left a family devastated and the perpetrators facing life behind bars.”

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