Renfrewshire teenager jailed after stabbing neighbor in the heart in the street


A teenager has been jailed after stabbing a neighbor in the heart moments after posting a photo on social media.

Jack McBride was just 17 when he stabbed Johnny Winters during a street confrontation in Johnstone.

Glasgow High Court heard how McBride earlier called his ex-girlfriend to taunt her that she thought he couldn’t ‘kill’ someone.

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McBride, of Johnstone, had been tried in Glasgow High Court for the murder of his 26-year-old victim, but later decided to plead guilty to a charge of culpable homicide.

Judge Lady Haldane deferred his sentence to the High Court in Edinburgh after hearing the circumstances of the attack.

She had heard how McBride had acted under provocation when Mr. Winters had once struck him with the dull side of an axe.

At the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday, Lady Haldane heard McBride’s defense barrister, Thomas Ross QC, talk about how his client had expressed remorse for his actions.

Mr. Ross told her that he was determined to change his life and that he wanted to help other young people who find themselves in situations similar to his.

However, Lady Haldane told McBride she had no choice but to hold him in custody.

She said: ‘I heard how you agreed to have acted on a trivial reason.

“I heard that you expressed genuine remorse and accepted full responsibility for your actions.

“I have taken into account the arguments of your lawyer. I have considered the sentencing guidelines.

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“There is no sentence I can impose that will bring Mr. Winter back to his family.

“A period of detention is appropriate in a case where another life has been taken. There is no other appropriate provision for this case.

Both McBride and Mr Winters had lived in High Street, Johnstone.

The killer previously suspected that Mr Winters was responsible for the fire at the door of his family home in 2019.

McBride then believed Mr. Winters’ partner later made a threat to his sister.

On the evening of the fatal attack, the teenager called his ex-girlfriend. The court heard his statement: “You think I can’t kill someone. You think my bark is bigger than my bite.

“Johnny Winters thinks he’s a name. I’ll be a name.”

Her ex and her mother failed to calm McBride down. He quickly left the apartment armed with a kitchen knife.

The teenager stormed outside Johnny’s apartment and yelled at him to get down.

Prosecutor Neil McCulloch told the court: “McBride’s video recorded this interaction and shared it on Snapchat.

“The Snapchat begins with a screenshot of an earlier text message sent by him to Johnny Winters.

“It’s captioned: ‘F*** Johnny – tried it once, I’ll try it again. Let’s hope he does something this time.”

“McBride can be seen in the recording shouting at the window demanding that he come out.

“You can hear Johnny Winters telling him to come up.

“The recording ends with a selfie of McBride captioned ‘gametime’.”

The victim was at home with his partner and his friend Adam Gallagher.

Adam testified and recalled going down the street seeing McBride and Mr. Winters “fight”.

The witness said, “I was telling Jack to go home and asking him what he was doing. I was trying to make him understand.”

Jurors heard from Mr. Winters and then finally hit McBride with the “blunt side” of a hatchet.

The teenager responded by stabbing Mr Winters once in the chest with the knife before fleeing.

Adam said: “Johnny was wearing his new jacket and I saw the fabric inside coming out.

“I asked, ‘He stabbed you? “. He said ‘no’ and then his face changed, he got all weird…and that was it.

“He collapsed and I grabbed him. I was talking to him, trying to stop the blood. He was looking up at the sky.”

Doctors soon arrived, but were unable to save Mr. Winters.

On Tuesday, Mr Ross told the court that his client regretted killing Mr Winters.

He added: ‘He speaks eloquently of his guilt and he has accepted responsibility for the death of Mr Winters.

“He takes full responsibility for his actions. He knows that he is fully responsible for his actions and that he must continue to grow.

Lady Haldane told McBride, who observed the proceedings via video link, that had he not pleaded guilty he would have been sentenced to seven years in prison.


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