54 years for trio who tortured victim to death

Paris Green, Kevin McDonagh and Dean Smith
Paris Green, Kevin McDonagh and Dean Smith
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THREE killers who tortured their innocent victim to death have been jailed for a total of 54 years.

Paris Green – who was born a man but now lives as a woman – Kevin McDonagh and Dean Smith brutally attacked their victim and then sat eating ham sandwiches as he lay dying in his flat.

Murder victim Robert Shankland

Murder victim Robert Shankland

A jury heard how the reason for the killing could have been a row over a bag of chips.

Green, 22, McDonagh, 23, and Smith, 20, yesterday returned to the dock after being convicted of murder earlier this year.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Judge John Morris QC locked each of them up for a minimum 18 years.

He told the trio: “This was a particularly gruesome murder which effectively involved the torture of your victim over many hours.

“It beggars belief that you could act towards another human being in this way.”

The judge added: “Your conduct was utterly depraved. You left Mr Shankland – even in death – without any dignity whatsoever.”

Green, who was born Peter Laing, will serve the life sentence in Cornton Vale prison for women.

The court was told Green is to receive what was described as “gender realignment surgery” which has to take place in England.

The brutal murder took place at Green’s flat in Glenrothes, Fife, in March this year.

Their victim was lured to the property after an alleged incident with Smith two weeks earlier.

The jury heard how Mr Shankland was tied up with torn bedding, battered, kicked and attacked with a rolling pin.

A ligature was also tied around his neck and a plastic bag pulled over his head. Mr Shankland, who suffered from a heart disease, was killed either by suffocation or blunt force injuries the court heard.

The killers ate ham sandwiches which had been paid for after selling their victim’s mobile phone, it emerged.

Green’s friend Maggie Shields told the trial she visited the flat and learned about the death, before recalling how the trio boasted about the beating.

The 31-year-old explained: “Dean jumped up quite excitedly and said: ‘I will show you the body’. I still did not think that they had killed him.”

Miss Shields went on to say the violence had erupted after a row about buying a bag of chips.

But the three killers concocted a story claiming Mr Shankland had made sexual advances to each of them. The witness said she fled the flat terrified and contacted the police.

McDonagh later told officers who arrested him: “He tried to fight back. After that it was just disgusting.”

The court heard the victim had no record of any sexual convictions at all and his family were distraught at claims he was involved in such behaviour.

The court was told co-accused Smith had served in Afghanistan.