Soldier who killed landlady faces jail

Cowal Drive in Linwood Picture: Google
Cowal Drive in Linwood Picture: Google
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Ex-soldier jailed for killing landlady

John Haugen stabbed Grace Kissell a total of 27 times at the flat he rented in Linwood, Renfrewshire.

A judge heard how the 41 year-old snapped in May this year after fearing Miss Kissell was going to put him on the streets by kicking him out of the property.

Haugen later confessed to police: “I have just committed a murder...it was a stupid argument that got out of control.”

Haugen was jailed for life at the High Court in Glasgow. He had previously pled guilty to murder.

Lady Rae told him: “It is extremely concerning that you lost control to the extent that you did.

“You committed, in my view, an appalling and frenzied attack on a defenceless woman stabbing her 27 times.”

Haugen – originally from Dumfries – showed no emotion as he was lead to the cells.

Relatives of Miss Kissell meantime left the courtroom in tears.

The court earlier heard how Miss Kissell rented the housing association flat in Cowal Drive, Linwood.

However, she then sublet it to Haugen in January 2014.

Haugen – who had been a lance corporal with the Royal Regiment of Scotland – had recently left the armed forces following a hearing problem.

The former squaddie went on to make payments towards rent and council tax.

Haugen later claimed he was owed £2000 by Miss Kissell, who ran a childminding and after-school business.

On May 14 this year – the day of the killing – he sent Miss Kissell a text stating: “I can be nasty too Grace, don’t want to be, I just want what I’m owed and that’s it.”

The mum of one then went to the flat to meet Haugen. It was there the court heard he “snapped” and stabbed his landlady to death.

In a 999 call, Haugen told the operator he had committed a murder.

He said the knife was still in the victim adding: “I am not going to do a runner – what’s the point?”

He also called his father and sister to admit he had killed someone.

A post mortem revealed one stab wound had sliced through Miss Kissell’s heart and another a major artery.

Murray Macara, defending, today/yesterday said Haugen had a fear of being homeless after leaving the armed forces.

The QC added that, prior to the murder, the ex soldier claimed Miss Kissell told him he had just two hours to leave the flat.

Mr Macara went on: “He maintains that is what caused him to lose self control and attack Miss Kissell.

“The subject that upset him more than any other was the prospect of being made homeless.”