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Man stabbed friend to death in fight over lawnmower

Aaron McGuire pleaded guilty to the culpable homicide of Kevin Gallacher in Wishaw.

Stabbed: McGuire and Mr Gallacher were distantly related (file pic).
Stabbed: McGuire and Mr Gallacher were distantly related (file pic).

A man stabbed his friend to death in an argument over a lawnmower in North Lanarkshire.

Aaron McGuire, 28, appeared at the Glasgow High Court accused of culpable homicide after 39-year-old Kevin Gallacher died from a stab wound to the left thigh.

The two men fought outside a property on Glencairn Avenue, Wishaw, over the lawnmower at around 11.35pm on July 4.

The court heard McGuire confronted Mr Gallacher and the pair became involved in a fight.

McGuire fell to his knees and, as Mr Gallacher walked away, he fatally struck him to the back of the left thigh.

On Tuesday, McGuire from Craigneuk, North Lanarkshire, admitted the culpable homicide of Mr Gallacher.

The court heard the men were distantly related to each other and were described as second cousins.

Advocate depute Steven Borthwick said: "In the course of July 4, the accused and deceased became involved in a dispute over possession of a lawnmower.

"The precise circumstances of this dispute are unclear."

Mr Gallacher reportedly told friends he was "anticipating" trouble later that day.

He had been socialising that evening at a friend's house in the area and left around 11.35pm.

Mr Gallacher was in the street outside 54 Glencairn Avenue when McGuire appeared from the end of the road and shouted: "I'm doing you."

The two started fighting and multiple blows were struck by each of them.

Mr Borthwick continued: "At some point in the course of the incident, Mr Gallacher struck McGuire on the head with a Budweiser bottle.

"In the course of the incident, McGuire inflicted three stab wounds on Mr Gallacher."

'This was a close relationship which has ended through the culpable actions of Mr McGuire taking Mr Gallacher's life in circumstances which started off as a ridiculous dispute and escalated into this episode.'
Defence QC Tony Graham

This included the fatal stab wound, as well as injuries to his left forearm and left thigh.

Towards the end of the incident, having been hit, McGuire stumbled back a few steps and fell on to his back.

Mr Gallacher turned away and took a step away from McGuire.

The court heard: "McGuire moved on to his knees, he moved towards Mr Gallacher, remaining in a kneeling position and struck out at Mr Gallacher's leg, inflicting a stab wound to the back of Mr Gallacher's left thigh.

"Mr Gallacher shouted 'He's just stabbed me'."

He suffered a cardiac arrest on the way to Wishaw General because of blood loss and despite efforts he could not be saved.

McGuire walked to his mother's house nearby, covered in blood and told her "Gal kept hitting me with a Budweiser bottle".

He had a cut on one side of his head and the other was covered in blood, as were his face and hands.

The following morning his mother heard Mr Gallacher had died and told police at the scene that her son was at her house and they should take him away.

Defence QC Tony Graham said: "Mr Gallacher was related to Mr McGuire, they were friends beyond that."

He added: "This was a close relationship which has ended through the culpable actions of Mr McGuire taking Mr Gallacher's life in circumstances which started off as a ridiculous dispute and escalated into this episode."

The court heard McGuire is "haunted" by the consequences of his actions.

Judge Lord Beckett QC deferred sentence until next month.

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