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Man sentenced for murder of mother

A 42 year old man has been sentenced to life imprisonment and told he must serve a minimum of 23 years in jail for murdering his mother.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that in the late evening of 11 February 2017 William Kelly assaulted his mother and set her alight at the home they shared in Kilmarnock.


Kelly and his mother, Catherine Kelly, attended a birthday party in Crosshouse where he was twice refused service at the bar. As they left the party to get a taxi Catherine Kelly fell, hitting her head. Kelly grabbed her and manhandled her into the taxi where the driver was instructed to take them to the hospital. When they arrived at the hospital Kelly changed his mind, stating “You’re no’ ruining my night”.

They then went home where Catherine fell to the ground outside the taxi. Kelly then dragged her toward the house. Once inside he threw her into a chair and began to repeatedly punch and kick her on the head and body. He seized her and pulled her to the ground where he continued to strike her on the body. As she lay motionless, face down, on the floor he poured petrol over her before setting fire to her.

Speaking following the sentencing, Nicky Patrick, Procurator Fiscal for Homicide and Major Crime, said:

“William Kelly’s violent and abusive behaviour led to the murder of his mother. “All murders are shocking but the murder of a parent by their own child makes it particularly so. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Catherine Kelly and it can only be hoped that the conviction and sentence will contribute in some way to their coming to terms with what has happened. “