Murder victim’s friend admits revenge attack

A FRIEND of a murder victim has been told by a judge that she faces a prison sentence after admitting to a brutal revenge attack on the killer’s girlfriend.
Dundee Sheriff Court. Picture: Allan Milligan/TSPLDundee Sheriff Court. Picture: Allan Milligan/TSPL
Dundee Sheriff Court. Picture: Allan Milligan/TSPL

Shelly Millar pleaded guilty to a horrific assault on Melissa McKay, the girlfriend of murderer Matthew Pope, jailed for life last year over the killing of Michael Given in a Dundee tower block.

Millar launched her attack amid claims that Miss McKay - who gave evidence on Pope’s behalf at his trial and has supported him since - had made “derogatory” comments about victim Mr Given on Facebook.

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Millar, a close friend of Mr Given, was with his sister when the assault took place. She approached Miss McKay and began punching and kicking her to the head and body before the victim was rescued by a neighbour.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard she was left with a possible broken rib and bruising the kidneys as a result of the ferocity of the attack.

A sheriff told Millar her attack was a “negation of the rule of law”.

Fiscal depute Douglas Wiseman told the court: “Miss McKay is the girlfriend of a man recently imprisoned for the murder of witness Given’s brother.

“Witness McKay states she was approached by one of the accused’s friends who grabbed her and a fight ensued.

“She then heard one of the females present saying ‘that’s her - that’s Matty Pope’s girlfriend.

“She was then approached by the accused who then began punching and kicking her to the head and body.

“She had obvious bruising and swelling to her face, bruises to her legs and a bleeding nose and a burst lip.

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“At 11am the following day she went to Ninewells Hospital accident and emergency.

“She suffered injury to her lower back and ribs that may have been a result of a broken rib and had microscopic signs of blood which may indicate a bruised kidney.”

Millar, 23, of Midmill Road, Dundee, pleaded guilty on summary complaint to a charge of assault to injury.

John Boyle, defending, said: “There is bad feeling given the murder by Miss McKay’s boyfriend of a close friend of the accused.

“That bad feeling was exacerbated by comments made on Facebook a few days before by Miss Mckay about her attitude towards it.”


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Sheriff Alistair Brown deferred sentence for background reports and remanded Millar in custody meantime.

He said: “I regard this as a very serious offence - this was an assault which the victim did not on that occasion at least in any way provoke.

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“It was an assault which appears to have been brought about by an incipient feud.

“Since we know the man in question did commit murder that’s a matter that has been dealt with by the High Court and it is not to be tolerated that members of the public should thereafter wreak vengeance on those with relationships to him.

“That’s a negation of the rule of law and I treat the revenge motive as an aggravation and as such a prison sentence is extremely likely.”

Matthew Pope was jailed for 17 and a half years last year after a jury found him guilty of murdering Mr Given at Elders Court, Dundee, on July 21 2013.

Pope struck his victim on the head with a wooden post with nails sticking out of it before punching, kicking and stamping on his head and leaving him for dead.

Judge Lord Armstrong described the assault as an “obscenely violent attack”.

Miss McKay told a trial at the High Court in Aberdeen that she had followed her boyfriend to Mr Given’s flat in the same block as she lived in and found the pair fighting.

She claimed Pope had left the flat with Mr Given still conscious and claimed she never knew he was dying and that she did not see violent blows administered to Mr Given’s head by a piece of wood.

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But a jury rejected her defence evidence and found Pope guilty.


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