Police chief critical of murderer’s lawyer

THE chief constable of Scotland’s largest police force has launched an unprecedented attack on the defence lawyer in the case of murdered university student Reamonn Gormley.

Stephen House, chief constable of Strathclyde Police, said comments made by Ian Duguid, QC, in his plea for mitigation for the murderer of the 19-year-old had been “insensitive in the extreme”.

Last week, Daryn Maxwell, 23, was jailed for at least 19 years for stabbing the Glasgow University student to death. During his plea to the court, Duguid described the murder as a “street robbery gone wrong”, and said Gormley had been “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

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Responding to the comments, House said: “I realise that it is the role of the defence advocate to show their clients in the best light, but to do so in a way that seeks to shift blame from the offender to the victim is something that I’m sure the public will struggle to understand.

“Mr Duguid also suggests that Mr Gormley, the wholly innocent victim, was ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’. Mr Gormley was walking home from a night out with friends. He did nothing wrong.”

Gormley died after he was attacked in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, in February after being approached by Maxwell and co-accused Barry Smith, 19, who was jailed for eight years for culpable homicide.

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