Knife man already faced Chhokar murder charge when he killed

Andrew Coulter is currently serving a six-year sentence imposed at the High Court in Edinburgh in February this year for stabbing a 26-year-old man to death.

The stabbing took place within weeks of Coulter being served with an indictment charging him with the murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar.

Coulter was originally charged with the murder of Patrick Kelly, but the Crown accepted his plea to a reduced charge of culpable homicide.

The details of the case could not be revealed until now because of a reporting ban imposed under the Contempt of Court Act.

Lord Cameron was told that Coulter, of Linghope Place, Gowkthrapple, Wishaw, intended only to hurt Mr Kelly with a ”jab” to the thigh, but the single blow struck an artery and the victim bled to death within minutes.

Coulter had left a party on September 11, 1999, and was seen outside a house in Tarbert Avenue, Wishaw, brandishing a knife, and challenging someone to come out and fight.

Coulter then gathered with friends in Caledonian Road, where Mr Kelly passed by about 2.30am, saying ”All right boys”. Coulter responded by calling Mr Kelly a ”grass” and he ran away, pursued by Coulter and friends, until he was cornered in a block of flats.

A resident who had heard a scream found the victim lying in a pool of blood. Paramedics were unable to revive him. A single stab wound to the right thigh had penetrated 14cm, piercing the femoral artery.

Donald Findlay, QC, defence counsel, said Coulter had armed himself with a knife, anticipating more trouble after an argument over records which had been borrowed. Mr Kelly had nothing to do with this and had come on the scene by chance.

”In the heat of the moment, Coulter stabbed him quite deliberately in the leg in the belief that it would inflict pain but would not be capable of causing serious harm. Unfortunately, Coulter would be unaware of the existence of the femoral artery.”

The Crown accepted that Coulter had not acted with the wicked recklessness required for a charge of murder. Only light force had been needed to inflict the wound.

The Herald

Andrew Coulter joins joined far-right demonstrators at a racist rally in Edinburgh in July

Andrew Coulter joins joined far-right demonstrators at a racist rally in Edinburgh in July 2016

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