Life sentence for teenager guilty of homophobic murder

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A teenager was sentenced to life imprisonment today for murdering a gay council officer in a homophobic attack.

David Meehan, 19, admitted to murdering James Kerr, 51, in South Inch public park and leaving him for dead while he and his accomplices went to a party.

According to Mr Meehan, the three walked past Mr Kerr on their way back but ignored their victim who was still breathing.

Another of the youths, Martin Soutar, 21, who pled guilty to a charge of culpable homicide, was sentenced to nine years.

The third, a 15-year-old who initiated the homophobic murder after phoning his friends will be sentenced tomorrow.

Mr Kerr was found badly injured by a woman walking her dog in the park early on Sunday 22 April this year.

The Perth and Kinross Council employee, who was openly gay, had serious injuries after being repeatedly kicked in the head and was taken to Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital where he died a few hours later.

Mr Kerr started a conversation with the 15-year-old boy in the park, a known cruising area.

Later the boy phoned Mr Meehan and Mr Soutar and summoned them to the park, where they hunted down their victim.

Mr Meehan, Mr Soutar and the 15-year-old all admitted punching him on the face and knocking him to the ground.

Mr Meehan and Mr Soutar admitted kicking him numerous times on the head, with Meehan admitting landing the blows which amounted to murder.

Mr Soutar admitted committing culpable homicide and stealing his victim’s lighter and a set of keys as he lay on the ground.

According to The Herald, a judge told them at the High Court in Edinburgh: “This was a killing of a callous and brutal character which appears to have been marked by a homophobic element.”