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Man who murdered drug dealer jailed for 17 years

John Mullen stabbed Paul Boland to death with a sharpened steel spike in Clydebank.

John Mullen: Murdered drug dealer over debt

A dad who murdered a drug dealer over a £50,000 debt has been jailed for at least 17 years.

Forty-eight-year-old John Mullen admitted stabbing Paul Boland, 28, to death with a sharpened steel spike in Clydebank on December 13 2008.

At the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday, temporary judge John Morris QC sentenced Mullen to life imprisonment and told him: "This was a premeditated and brutal killing. Your victim was a drug dealer, but he didn't deserve to die. I set the punishment part of your sentence at 17 years."

The brutal attack took place just yards from Mullen's home in Fullers Gate, Clydebank. Mr Boland was stabbed by Mullen  as he sat in the front seat of a Range Rover.

Mullen, who was in the back seat rammed the steel spike into Mr Boland's neck causing fatal injuries. Mr Boland ran from the car, but was found dying outside the nearby doublet Bar in Clydebank.

The court was told that Mullen snapped because he feared he would never see the cash Mr Boland had borrowed from him again.

Cocaine

On the fifth day of a trial Mullen sacked his defence counsel and pleaded guilty to murder.

The trial jury  earlier heard that Mullen gave Mr Boland, who had interests in a shop and a pub, £50,000 to finance a scheme to import cocaine from the Dominican Republic and expected to get £100,000 back.

However, Mullen became concerned after learning that Boland still owed £135,000 to drug dealers for cocaine he bought and then diluted so much no one would buy it.

At first Boland fobbed him off with excuses, but then gave him the name of a man he said was holding the cash for him.

Mullen senior phoned this man who denied all knowledge of the money. The court heard that Mullen senior then ordered his son and family friend 38-year-old Gary Edmonds to bring Boland to him.

Mullen senior changed his plea to guilty after Edmonds gave evidence at the murder trial.

Runner

Edmonds told the court he watched as Boland ran from his BMW clutching his neck as Mullen Snr chased him round a corner while holding a "spiky-looking thing made of steel." He then followed Mullen Snr's order to get rid of the blood-stained BMW by burning it.

In evidence, Mr Edmonds said that as he parked behind Mr Boland's car in Fullers Gate he saw him running from his BMW X5 car clutching his neck, with Mullen chasing him.. He told prosecutor Andrew Miller: "I think Paul was doing a runner and John Mullen senior was hot on his heels."

He said both men ran round the corner towards the Doublet public house and disappeared from view.

When asked by Mr Miller: "Did he have something with him?" Mr Edmonds replied: "It was some sort of spiky-looking thing made of steel protruding through his hand and was about four inches long. It looked like the handle of a woman's steel comb, except bigger and broader."

A pathologist said that the fatal injuries were inflicted from the back and were likely to have happened when Mr Boland was in the car.

Solicitor advocate Des Finnieston, defenfding, said: "John Mullen is a hard-working man. At the time of his arrest he was working as a lorry driver."

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