Article excerpt

Byline: By RON MOORE

A LOUT who battered a pal to death for breaking his video game console was yesterday sentenced to nearly five years in prison.

Alan Stirling, 30, admitted killing Paul McDonald, 35, in a drunken fight at his flat.

They had fallen asleep after watching football on TV and boozing into the early hours with another friend, the high court in Edinburgh heard. Stirling was woken at about 4am or 5am by the sound of Mr McDonald knocking over the television.

He feared his pal had broken his Sony PlayStation and shoved him on to the sofa. Stirling lashed out in anger when his victim bit him, landing at least six or seven blows on his head and body.

The killer, of Dundee, had originally been charged with murder, but the Crown accepted his guilty plea to the reduced charge of culpable homicide.

Sentencing, Lord Macphail said jobless Stirling had shown genuine remorse and had tried to help when he found his friend apparently unconscious.

The judge told him he would have faced seven years if he had been convicted after trial, but the jail term was reduced to four years and eight months because of the guilty plea. …