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Couple sentenced for killing neighbour

A 37 year-old man has been told he will serve at least 14 years in prison following the murder of a man in Edinburgh.

Rene Howieson was sentenced for the murder of Colin Skilbeck today at the High Court in Glasgow.  He was given a mandatory life term for the killing, having previously pled guilty on 19 July 2017.

His wife, 35 year old Kathleen Downey, pled guilty at trial on 4 December 2017 to Culpable Homicide. She was sentenced to five years and three months.

The court had heard that on 12 March 2017 at a flat in Gibson Terrace, Edinburgh, Howieson had gone to Colin Skilbeck’s home armed with a knife; Downey had a kitchen pan filled with a boiling sugar solution following a disagreement about noise.

Downey threw the pan of sugar and water into the face of Mr Silbeck and Howieson struck him repeatedly to the body with the knife.

During the course of the incident Kathleen Downey was handed the knife by her husband and also struck the deceased with it.Speaking following the sentencing, Nicky Patrick, Procurator Fiscal for Homicide and Major Crime, said:

“I welcome the sentence of Rene Howieson and Kathleen Downey.

“This was an unusual but nonetheless wicked criminal act carried out with total disregard for human life.

“We will continue to do our utmost to prosecute those who carry out acts of violence against others.