Killer struck again less than a year after being released

Steven Ryan was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: Spindrift
Steven Ryan was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: Spindrift
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A CONVICTED killer murdered a pensioner – less than a year after being freed from a life ­sentence.

Steven Ryan stabbed stranger Gordon Murphy 15 times with a scissor blade in an unprovoked attack last December.

“It may be that you will never be released”

JUDGE JOHN MORRIS

As the 65-year-old lay dying in the street, Ryan went to buy crack cocaine which he claimed boosted his “sexual prowess”.

Mr Murphy – who had battled cancer – did not survive the attack close to his front door in Govanhill, Glasgow.

Ryan struck just 11 months after being deemed safe enough to be put back on the streets.

The 43-year-old was jailed for life in 1994 for the high-profile murder of Glasgow procurator fiscal Marshall Stormonth at his home in the city’s west end.

Ryan denied this latest killing insisting he had been a “good samaritan” by coming to Murphy’s aid after he had been set upon by mystery attackers.

However he was again convicted of murder following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Judge John Morris QC ordered Ryan to serve a minimum 25 years as he was given a second life sentence. Describing the “barbarity” of this latest crime, he told Ryan: “It may be that you will never be released.”

Murphy was brutally attacked at around midnight on 20 December last year.

Ryan was roaming the streets near his flat with his lover Cherie Marshall.

Miss Marshall, 35, told the jury that Ryan told her to “hold on” as he suddenly crossed the road and was soon in a “scuffle” with a man in the city’s Ardbeg Street.

She added: “The guy was not putting up much of a fight. Steven was attacking him. I did not know at the time, but Steven had obviously stabbed him – I did see blood.”

The pair then dialled 999 before leaving to buy crack cocaine.

Ryan threw the murder weapon into the Forth and Clyde Canal close to the city’s Possilpark.

He was initially traced by detectives as his phone had been used to make the 999 call before later being charged.

Under cross-examination, Ryan claimed he spotted a fight before two people fled as he ran across the road.

After the verdict, prosecutor Alex Prentice QC revealed Ryan had been freed from jail in late January last year

He was 21 when along with his then 17-year-old brother Dean, he strangled Mr Stormonth with a tie and belt before robbing him in 1993.

Mr Stormonth’s home was set on fire with the body still inside. A jury at the time heard how Ryan told a witness he and his brother had met the fiscal in a bar and pretended to be homosexual in order to go home and rob him.