Drug fuelled killer given life in jail for Dalkeith murder

The High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh
The High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh

A drug fuelled killer who mercilessly murdered a father in broad daylight was jailed for life today (Tuesday).

Paul Alexander viciously stabbed John Lynch after chasing him down.

After leaving the scene he returned to knife the defenceless, wounded victim again when he was “at death’s door” after asking bystanders whether he was dead or not.

Alexander (47) inflicted 10 stab wounds on Mr Lynch (41) in the fatal assault, damaging the victim’s windpipe and lung.

The killer, who was previously jailed for 10 years for two attempted murders during a criminal history that goes back to 1990, had called the knife his “weapon of choice” before slaying Mr Lynch.

A judge told him that it was a brutal, callous crime and added: “I am in no doubt you constitute a substantial danger to the public.”

Lord Boyd of Duncansby ordered that Alexander must serve at least 22 years in prison before he is eligible to apply for release on parole.

Alexander was led off to the cells to cries of “rot in hell, scumbag” and “beast”.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that he had consumed up to 100 Valium tablets, heroin and other drugs before launching the murderous attack on Mr Lynch on March 3 last year at Woodburn Road, Dalkeith, in Midlothian.

The horrific assault was captured on camera and jurors were shown footage during Alexander’s trial.

Alexander admitted inflicting the injuries that killed Mr Lynch, but had denied murdering him.

After the jury rejected a plea to convict him of the lesser offence of culpable homicide and found him guilty of murder there were cries of “yes” from the public benches.

Advocate depute Mark McGuire told the court that Alexander had consumed a quantity of drugs that would affect an elephant.

The prosecutor said: “What did he do on catching his unarmed quarry. He stabbed him again and again and again.”

Alexander opened the door of a house in Woodburn Road he shared with Mr Lynch’s former girlfriend and stabbed the victim in the arm as he stood outside.

He then chased after him down the garden path and into the street armed with a knife to finish him off. At one point he asked: “Is that c--- no dead yet?”

When police arrived at the house after the killing they found Alexander who claimed he was sick of being harassed.

Christine McCallion (30) told the court that Alexander became her partner after she split up with Mr Lynch, who was the father of one of her daughters.

She said that in January last year she was so concerned about events that she decided to conceal the knives in the house from Alexander.

She later told police: “I had a gut feeling there was going to be trouble so I hid all the knives in the house while he was out.”

Alexander went and bought another knife from a supermarket, although that was to prove not to be the weapon used in the fatal attack on Mr Lynch.

She agreed that Alexander had threatened to “stab f---” out of Mr Lynch and said he was previously called “a pussy” because he would not fight his victim.

She said that on the day of the murder Alexander had “a glazed look “ in his eyes. She told police: “He was telling me not to warn John he was going to kill him.”

She said she slipped the knife Alexander bought at the supermarket under a coffee table.

Mr Lynch arrived at the house and was calling through the letterbox wanting to speak to Miss McCallion and Alexander opened the door to him armed with another knife and stabbed him on the left arm.

The killer pursued him into the street where they struggled and Alexander delivered multiple blows to his victim.

Miss McCallion said she pushed Alexander off Mr Lynch and slapped him. She said: “I was just shouting at him ‘Get off him. Leave him alone’.”

Alexander went away but returned and resumed the deadly assault. Miss McCallion said: “John was already at death’s door at this point.”

She said: “He was like a robot when he was doing that to John.”

She visited Alexander in custody and he told her he could not remember what had happened until she slapped him in the face.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Superintendent Alwyn Bell from Dalkeith’s Criminal Investigations Department said: “Mr Lynch died as a result of a horrific and unrelenting attack by Paul Alexander.

“Paul Alexander was quickly arrested by officers who attended the scene and has now been found guilty of his actions.

“Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Mr Lynch’s family and friends and I hope that the verdict today will offer them some comfort in the knowledge that Paul Alexander has been brought to account for his actions.”