Man jailed after killing dad-of-two he met online

Alan Baker was jailed at the High Court in Glasgow today. Picture: PA
Alan Baker was jailed at the High Court in Glasgow today. Picture: PA
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A MAN was jailed for life yesterday after being convicted of murdering a father-of-two hours after they met on a gay dating website.

Alan Baker, 25, invited John Weir, 36, into his home in ­Bonhill, west Dunbartonshire, in January this year before stabbing him at least 16 times.

Baker told the court he acted in self-defence but was convicted of murder and ­attempting to cover up his crime.

Jailing Baker at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday, Lord Boyd said he was guilty of a “wicked and brutal” attack on Mr Weir, a taxi controller.

The judge went on: “As for the reason for this, it is only you who will know. John Weir did nothing which remotely justified what happened to him that night.”

Lord Boyd said he hoped Baker would see the “devastating impact,” Mr Weir’s death has had on those close to him.

Baker grinned as he was led handcuffed to the cells to begin his sentence.

A jury previously heard how Mr Weir suffered a violent death soon after meeting Baker on a gay dating website on 3 January.

The victim – known as Big J - went to Baker’s home that night after they had swapped details.

In his evidence, Baker – who described himself as “predominately gay” – said Mr Weir seemed “a nice gentleman” and that there was “no animosity”.

The trial heard claims he later pushed Mr Weir away when he allegedly tried to get intimate.

Baker – who was pursuing a sex change at the time of the murder – said a fight broke out after he was punched on the chest.

The killer told a jury: “I saw him come at me. There was just a change in his eyes. He became really angry-looking. At that point I just remember getting a knife put in the side of my neck.”

Baker claimed he pushed Mr Weir down on the sofa, but could not recall what then ­happened.

He said when he eventually “came round”, he realised there was a body on the floor and a blade in the bathroom.

Baker then bagged up his ­victim’s clothes, boots and ­mobile phone before dumping them near his flat.

He also tried to clean his blood-soaked property before police arrived.

The court heard officers found a wheelie bin in the living room.

Baker said: “I don’t really have a recollection of bringing in the wheelie bin. The only assumption I can make is that I brought it in to dispose of the body in a panic.”

The jury rejected claims that he had acted in self-defence.

Yesterday, Lord Boyd also said he did not accept Baker was ­attacked with a knife and that it appeared it was Mr Weir who was trying to protect himself.

Murray Macara QC, defending, said a pre-sentencing report had stated Baker had suffered from “emotional and sexual ­problems”.

Mr Macara added: “Clearly, something triggered this total loss of self-control that resulted in Mr Weir’s death.”

Mr Weir had lived in Erskine, Renfrewshire, with his disabled sister, who was put into care after his death.

After the trial, Mr Weir’s close friend Michael Lloyd paid tribute to a man who would “always try and help people out”.

Mr Lloyd added: “I could not believe what happened to him due to the fact he was so non-confrontational. It is great to see that justice does prevail.”