TWO VIGILANTES who murdered a drug dealer they blamed for supplying a lethal ecstasy tablet that killed their teenage friend have been jailed for life.
Dean Melnyk,20, and Andrew Brown, 23, were jailed for a minimum of 20 years on Wednesday for the murder of dealer Kevin MacKay.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard how the duo took the law into their own hands hours after the funeral of Jamie Abba.
The pair believed that MacKay had supplied the pill that killed 19-year-old Mr Abba, who was known as Jabba.
The two men travelled from Lockerbie to Ecclfechan in Dumfries and Galloway and repeatedly stabbed MacKay in an attack last August.
On Wednesday, judge Lord Armstrong sentenced the two men to life imprisonment.
Passing sentence, the judge told Melnyk and Brown that they would both have to serve a minimum of 20 years before becoming eligible for parole.
He added: “You have been convicted of carrying out a brutal attack which resulted in the death of Kevin MacKay.
“This incident did not happen on the spur of the moment. It was pre-meditated. You wrongly took justice into your own hands.
“You travelled from Lockerbie to Ecclefechan with long bladed weapons and inflicted a number of injuries on your victims.
“The court has heard that your victim suffered 80 injuries which were inflicted on the vital organs of your victim.
“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. The only sentence for murder is life imprisonment.”
Melnyk, of Lockerbie, and Brown, of Ecclefechan, were convicted of murder following proceedings at the High Court in Glasgow in April 2014.
Sentence had been deferred in order for the court to obtain reports about the pair’s characters.
During the trial, Melynyk told jurors he was ‘drunk and angry’ when he and Brown went to Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire, on August 22 last year and attacked Mr MacKay,
As the verdict of murder against Melnyk was delivered, Mr MacKay’s family and friends applauded.
Melnyk had denied murder but admitted culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility. However, this claim was rejected by the jury.
On Wednesday, Brown’s advocate, Alice Taggart, told the court that her client was now full of remorse for his role in the murder.
Ms Taggart added: “He is appalled by his conduct and has attempted to apologise to Mr MacKay’s family. He is genuinely remorseful for what he has done. His conduct was genuinely out of character.
“He is horrified by the consequences of his conduct. He has ruined the lives of Mr MacKay’s family and the lives of his own family.”
Melnyk’s advocate, Sarah Livingston also said her client was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at the time of the offence.
Ms Livingston also said her client had expressed remorse for his part in the attack.