Mr Andrew Palfreman was convicted for the murder of Barry McLachlan. The accused admitted to stabbing the deceased 6 times but claimed that he acted in self-defence after the deceased trying to attract the attention of his dog in order to protect himself.
Both the accused and the deceased were friends and spent the day of the murder together. Neighbours however reported sounds of arguing and fighting between the accused and deceased throughout the day. Mr Palfreman admitted to killing his friend Mr McLachlan however only called emergency services hours later.
It was found that Mr Palfreman’s act of self-defence and provocation was rejected and he was found guilty for the murder.
Mr Palfreman’s preliminary starting conviction was 16 years to which he argued he suffered from mental health problems and acted in self-defence in order to reduce his sentence.
It was argued that the sentence was lenient due to the fact that knife crime was an ongoing problem and required a stronger deterrence along with the fact that it was argued to be a spontaneous attack. It was concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that the accused suffered from severe mental health illnesses which would affect his decision making. Therefore, it was concluded that self-defence was not applicable.
Although the accused did not run away from the scene he did however go to bed instead of seeking help and phoned an ambulance four hours later after the deceased was crying for help. He did admit to causing Mr McLachlan’s death but disputed any criminal responsibility.
As a result of this, the Crown quashed the original sentence of 12 years and convicted Mr Palfreman for 17 years for the death of Mr McLachlan.