Jail for gambler who killed man with one punch

The Riverboat Casino is Glasgow city centre. Picture: Google
The Riverboat Casino is Glasgow city centre. Picture: Google
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A ROYAL Navy worker who killed a man with a single punch moments after losing £1,000 at a casino has been detained for five years.

Kallum Delaney,20, attacked Robin Thomson,27, after storming out of the Riverboat Casino in Glasgow’s city centre at 5am on September 23 2014.

Robin Thomson from Perth who was killed in a motiveless treet attack in Glasgow. Picture: submitted

Robin Thomson from Perth who was killed in a motiveless treet attack in Glasgow. Picture: submitted

Mr Thomson, originally from Perth, hit his head following the blow and later died in hospital.

Delaney - who was based at HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane, Dunbartonshire - claimed that he thought Mr Thomson was going to hit him.

But following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, a jury rejected Delaney’s self defence claim and convicted him of culpable homicide.

On Thursday, at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Glennie, ordered Delaney to be imprisoned for five years.

He had said ‘why did you let me lose money?’ The more he lost, the more bets he put on.

Oliver James

Describing the case as a tragedy, Lord Glennie said that there was no sentence available to him which could bring comfort to Mr Thomson’s family.

He said: “This has been a difficult case. It is a tragedy. You have been convicted of the culpable homicide of Robin Thomson, a total stranger to you who was simply making his way home following a night out.

“It was your punch that killed him. It was a completely unjustified attack.”

Delaney, now of RAF Honington in Suffolk, was convicted of culpable homicide last month at the High Court in Glasgow. Sentence had been deferred for the court to obtain reports.

At his trial, the court heard how Delaney helped maintain the Trident submarine fleet at Faslane.

The court also heard how he and his navy pal Oliver James had gone to the Riverboat Casino in the early hours of September 23 last year.

Casino employee Karen Turner described Delaney as “agitated” as he went onto repeatedly lose money on the roulette table.

She said: “He seemed upset. It seemed like he was in quite a bit of distress. I heard him say he lost a £1,000.”

CCTV footage played in court showed Delaney leaving the casino around 5am appearing to be in an angry mood.

His friend Mr James told the jury: “By not wanting to walk with me, I could tell he was annoyed with me.

“He had said ‘why did you let me lose money?’ The more he lost, the more bets he put on.”

The court heard that Mr Thomson had also been at the casino that night. He had sat at the same roulette table as Delaney but didn’t have anything to do with him.

Footage showed Mr Thomson leaving the casino to head home as Delaney and Mr James chatted outside in the street.

He was walking in nearby Midland Street when Delaney was waiting for a taxi back to Faslane. The sailor then attacked the victim before leaving him for dead.

Mr Thomson was rushed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary Hospital. But he died two days later.

He suffered a fracture to his neck resulting in damage to his spinal cord. This starved his brain of oxygen and blood. Mr Thomson also had a broken nose.

Delaney was later arrested at Faslane and told his petty officer: “I have hit someone and I think it is bad. I did not know that I had it in me.”

He also told police: “I am not a bad person.”

On Thursday, defence solicitor advocate Murray Macara QC said his client had expressed his “great remorse” for what had happened to Mr Thomson.

He added: “Kallum Delaney is 20. He has no previous convictions and he has no adverse disciplinary record with the Royal Navy.

“He is expecting a custodial sentence and as a consequence of this, he will be forced to leave the Royal Navy.”

Mr Macara also made a reference to report into Delaney’s background which had been commissioned by the court at the earlier hearing in Glasgow.

The court heard an extract of the report which had been written by a specially trained social worker.

It read: “Having joined the Royal Navy, Mr Delaney appears to have been caught up in a situation of following orders and sticking within the confines of the role.. it is a situation which offers him, in my opinion, some comfort from considering the role, purpose or level of contribution he was making towards the maintenance of a weapon of mass destruction.”

Mr Macara said this statement was “quite extraordinary.”

Talking about the report, Mr Macara said: “It has been devalued by the expression of the personal views of the author with regard to their opinions of the armed forces, the navy and in particular Trident Submarines.”

Relatives and friends of Mr Thomson - who have raised more than £65,000 for charity in his memory - left the court in tears.