A witness who tried to withhold evidence in a murder case has been sentenced to 15 months’ detention.
Umar Bhatti, 19, was called to testify at the trial of his cousin, Adel Ishaq, 19, and a friend, Asif Rehman, 20, who were accused of the racially motivated killing of Irish-born William McKeeney, 57, as he returned to his home in Pollokshields, Glasgow, after a night out.
The judge, Lord Uist, warned Bhatti and then held him to be in contempt of court during last month’s trial at the High Court in Kilmarnock.
Sentencing him at the High Court in Edinburgh, the judge said: “You deliberatley prevaricated by withholding from the court evidence you were well able to give and intentionally seeking to mislead the court. It is clear from your previous convictions that you have embarked on a criminal career and you have no regard for the law.”
Ishaq and Rehman were convicted of kicking Mr McKeeney to death, but the allegation that the attack had been racially motivated was deleted from the charge. They have still to be sentenced.