Car vandal killers jailed
By RHODRI PHILLIPS May 14, 2007
TWO thugs who killed a dad-of-six after he tried to stop them vandalising his car were jailed today.
Jay O'Neill, 21, and Scott Milroy, 17, attacked James Alford, 43, in a lane near his home in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland in May.
Mr Alford was tripped up and kicked in the head as he lay on the ground.
O'Neill later boasted to friends that when his victim's head hit the ground it sounded like "cracking an egg in a frying pan".
The 21-year-old was caged for eight years at the High Court in Edinburgh for culpable homicide.
Milroy was ordered to serve three years and two months in a young offenders institute for assault.
Mr Alford's family slammed the sentences handed down by Lord Bannatyne, saying they were too light.
His mother, Mary Fearns, 66, said: "That was a kangaroo court, justice wasn't done today."
Mr Alford had quit his job to look after Ms Fearns, who has cancer.
His sister, Teresa Maitland, 46, added: "He had 20 years no claims bonus. That was all he ever spoke about, his insurance and his 20 years no claims bonus. He's paid with his life for his wing mirror.
"The young boy Milroy will be home within 11 months and he's got to walk past her front door every day - he only lives five doors away from her.
"The council is going to have to offer some alternative housing for my mum or the Milroy family because she can't live with that every day. She's an unwell woman."
O'Neill is already serving a prison sentence for attacking a man with a sword during a break-in last December.
He was jailed for two years and 11 months for assault and robbery.
Lord Bannatyne said today's sentence will run consecutively to that.
O'Neill was given 12 years in total for the culpable homicide of Mr Alford, with eight years to be served in jail.
He was also jailed for a further 18 months, to run consecutively, over lesser charges.
Lord Bannatyne told O'Neill: "A man has lost his life and a very substantial sentence is required in this case and that has to be a very substantial custodial one."
The High Court in Glasgow had previously heard that the victim was tripped up and kicked in the head while on the ground, leaving him with fatal injuries.
The attack took place at about midnight on May 28.
Mr Alford died later that day from bleeding into the brain.
He found that his wing mirror had been damaged after his mother saw two youths near the car and he spotted O'Neill and Milroy in a nearby lane.
Advocate Brian McConnachie, appearing for Milroy, told the court that he came from a stable background and his family were "shocked by what happened".
He added that Mr Alford left his home in an angry state and made the first "violent move" when he confronted the pair.
Mr McConnachie added: "It's abundantly clear that between Mr Milroy and the co-accused they got the better of the deceased and as a result the deceased tragically died."
O'Neill's defence advocate, Donald Findlay, said he had been violently abused from a young age by an ex-partner of his mother and when confronted by threat or challenge his response was to "fight back".
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