Man found guilty of murdering pal over joke
A JURY yesterday (Wednesday) found a man guilty of murdering his
drinking buddy because he was offended by a bad joke.
Unemployed shelf stacker Derek Kinghorn (44, pictured) stabbed Dunfermline-born Brian Mair to death for quipping: "That's not what yer ma said".
Giving evidence, the fanatical Hearts supporter told the High Court at
Livingston: "I found it offensive.
"He didn't know my mother and I found it disrespectful to talk about
someone else's mother.
"I love and respect my mother and I don't like someone saying anything
Outside court, the dead man's partner, Amy Michaels, commented, "Brian
was a jokey guy and no-one took offence at the things he said.
Everybody loved him."
Although the jury heard a tape of Kinghorn claiming in a phone call to
his family that Mr Mair had accused him of sleeping with Ms Michaels (46) no evidence was led to support this.
Mr Mair's mum, Emily Paton (67), and his stepdad, John, said they were
pleased with the majority verdict.
Mrs Paton added, "It was a just verdict.
"I just wanted him to be found guilty for Brian's sake.
"No-one will ever know why it went to the stage it did."
Deferring sentence, temporary judge Michael O'Grady told Kinghorn he had been convicted of a "dreadful" crime.
He said, "It is crime which is as cruel as it is senseless and inhumane.
"You have taken the life of someone you have called friend for reasons
I suspect no-one can even begin to fathom.
"No sentence I can pass can bring any comfort to his son or to the
family and friends of Mr. Mair.
"There is only one sentence I can impose and that is one of life
imprisonment but, given your record, I consider it necessary to obtain
background reports before passing sentence."
Kinghorn - who attacked his pal of 10 years after an all-day drink
and drugs binge in his flat in Hawick in the Borders - made a
triumphant gesture to his friends and family as he was led to the
During the eight-day trial, the jury was told that Kinghorn, who
last worked a decade ago, had drunk 10 cans of beer and smoked
several cannabis joints with his friend earlier on the day of the
After the joke, he went to the kitchen, grabbed an eight-inch knife
and brandished it in Mr Mair's face, cutting him below the eye.
When Mr Mair smashed a tumbler on Kinghorn's head in retaliation, the
accused sliced open the main artery in his groin with the kitchen
knife then pushed him onto a sofa and stabbed him repeatedly on the
One stab wound pierced Mr Mair's shoulder blade, passed right through
his lung and severed the main vein leading to his heart.
Mr Mair (45) bled to death despite frantic efforts by Ms Michael and a
team of paramedics to save him.
Kinghorn had denied repeatedly striking Mr Mair on the head and
body with a knife, threatening to kill him and murdering him on 1st
He was acquitted of knifing Ms Michaels and causing her severe injury
and permanent disfigurement after the Crown withdrew the charge.