Jack Frew murder trial: family seek ‘the maximum sentence possible’ for killer
THE family of teenage murder victim Jack Frew called for his killer to receive “the maximum sentence possible” for murdering the schoolboy who, they said, “had the world at his fingertips”.
It took a jury less than two hours to unanimously find Craig Roy guilty of what Jack’s family called a “cold, calculating and planned murder”.
Roy, 19, stabbed Jack 20 times with a kitchen knife and slit the throat of the 16-year-old in secluded woodland near the school they had attended in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire.
He claimed diminished responsibility because of a personality disorder, and that he was being blackmailed by Jack, who was pestering him for sex.
There were emotional scenes as the verdict was read out at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday. Jack’s friends and family threw their arms around one another and wept openly.
Roy, who wore a black suit, white shirt and grey tie, bowed his head and said nothing, avoiding eye contact with his family before being led out of the dock.
Outside court, Jack’s parents Lorraine and Robert Frew watched as a statement was read out on their behalf by family friend Lynn Crossan. She said: “Jack’s family have sat through 11 days of harrowing and distressing evidence.
“The verdict could have been none other than murder because that’s what it was. Cold, calculating and planned murder.
“Not only has Jack had his life snatched from him but his good name has been tarnished by wicked words and lies which were unfounded.
“The family can only take comfort from the fact that those who knew Jack know and remember what he really was like.
“He was a happy, loving vibrant boy who loved life and brought fun and laughter to every situation.
“Jack loved people, had the world at his fingertips with a promising future ahead and he would have made the most of every minute.”
She added: “We can only hope that Lord Doherty inflicts the maximum sentence possible for this violent and atrocious crime.”
Jack, who like Roy was openly gay, bled to death after the killer cut open his windpipe and punctured his lungs in a violent and bloody assault.
In court, Roy claimed he had only taken a kitchen knife to the meeting, arranged via text message, to scare Jack.
But after the assault, instead of calling an ambulance, he phoned his boyfriend Christopher Hannah, 20.
When Mr Hannah, a shop assistant and criminal psychology student from East Kilbride, answered the phone Roy told him: “Jack Frew is dead”. Mr Hannah had previously told the court that he then ran to the murder scene where he found Roy covered in so much blood he thought he was hurt.
However, when he went to look at Jack, and checked his pulse, Mr Hannah he knew he was dead.
Roy said he only recalled taking out the knife and then seeing Jack lying bleeding to death on the ground.
Although his defence argued Roy was suffering from a personality disorder, the evidence given by professionals in court was conflicting.
Dr Annie Bartlett said that she diagnosed Roy as having an unspecified personality disorder and added that he had traits of borderline, dependent and avoidant personality disorders.
But Dr Sharat Shetty said he examined Roy on four occasions and found no sign of any mental health issues. The consultant forensic psychiatrist added: “There was no sign of a personality disorder. I’m fairly confident of that diagnosis.”
After the verdict, police and prosecutors said they hoped the case would serve as a warning to people who carry knives.
Area procurator fiscal for Lanarkshire, Janet Cameron, said: “Craig Roy armed himself with a knife and carried out a violent, sustained and murderous attack on Jack Frew. Jack Frew died because Craig Roy had a knife and had no hesitation in using it and using it repeatedly.
“Today’s conviction should act as a warning to anyone thinking of leaving home with a knife or using a knife that prosecutors, working together with the police, will ensure that those people are caught, prosecuted and brought to justice.”
Chief Superintendent Alan Gall, divisional commander of Strathclyde Police’s South Lanarkshire Division, added: “This is a tragic loss of life and our sympathies are with family and friends of Jack Frew.
“This is just one example of the needless loss of life associated with knife-carrying, and we would urge anyone who has information about individuals carrying weapons to report it to police.”
Judge Lord Doherty said Roy will be sentenced on 1 March at the High Court in Edinburgh.
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