An 18-year-old from Saltcoats faces a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering Ardrossan man Sam Johnston (pictured).
Stuart McCulloch was convicted of stabbing Mr Johnston through the heart after trouble flared at a party in Parkend Gardens, Saltcoats on October 26 last year. The High Court in Glasgow heard that party-host Leona Conn asked everyone to leave when a hole was punched in one of her doors. However, trouble then resulted, during which Sam Johnston was stabbed.
Initially, three men were charged with murdering the father of a young daughter – McCulloch, Alan Carey (19) from Ardrossan and Fergal Morgan (22) of Drumchapel in Glasgow. The Crown dropped the charge against Morgan during the trial. However, Carey was convicted ofa lesser charge of culpable homicide in relation to Mr Johnston’s death after prosecutors accepted he had taken part in the attack but had not administered the fatal blow.
McCulloch denied murdering Sam Johnston, blaming Morgan for the stabbing, but the High Court heard that a knife recovered by police had the victim’s blood on the blade and McCulloch’s DNA on the handle.
Following conviction, Stuart McCulloch and Alan Carey were remanded in custody. They will appear again at a later date for sentencing.