Birthday killer jailed for life

A teenager who murdered a stranger after a day of drinking on his 18th birthday has been sentenced to life imprisonment. 

Brian McKillop has been ordered to serve a minimum of 11 years and three months after pleading guilty to the murder and robbery of a 51-year-old man in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, on 20 October 2021. 

The High Court in Glasgow heard that McKillop violently assaulted James Britton by repeatedly kicking him to the head and body and stamping on his head for a period of between five and six minutes until he was unconscious. 

He was spotted by passing motorists outside a car wash on Farmeloan Road.  

One of the motorists pulled over and phoned 999 before trying to help Mr Britton. She saw that his pockets had been turned out and a carrier bag, its contents and some coins were strewn on the pavement next to him. 

Ambulance crew and police officers arrived shortly after, and the police arrested McKillop as he attempted to leave the scene.  

When taken to the police station he was found to have Mr Britton’s prescription medication in his jacket pocket. Blood was found on his shoes and jeans. 

Mr Britton, affectionately known as “Moose,” was returning from visiting friends when he was attacked. He died of his injuries on 4 November 2021 at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. 

Speaking following the sentencing, David Green, Procurator Fiscal for Homicide and Major Crime, said: 

“This was a random and unprovoked attack on a stranger. An attack carried out with an appalling level of sustained violence. 

“James Britton’s friends and family have suffered a devastating loss, and our thoughts are with them as they attempt to come to terms with what has happened.”