A heroic former soldier who survived a rocket-propelled grenade attack died at the hands of a friend he had generously given cash just hours earlier.
William Prieston – known as Billy – never recovered from the brutal assault by Garrie McCann in November 2019 and died weeks later in hospital.
McCann, 38, who already had a history of violence, has been locked up for eight years and four months for the attack in Falkirk.
He had earlier pled guilty to culpable homicide at the High Court in Glasgow.
Injured in combat
A previous hearing was told how Mr Prieston, 43, had served with the Queens Household Cavalry.
He was medically discharged due to serious injuries suffered in combat.
Prosecutor Derick Nelson said: “He had nerve damage and metal plates inserted in his jaw, arms and shin.
“This was due to a rocket-propelled grenade striking the tank in which he was travelling.”
The court heard how Mr Prieston gave McCann £20 on the night of the killing.
The men later ended up at William’s flat, which he shared with girlfriend Suzanne Currie.
Mr Nelson said: “The attack happened after she had gone to bed leaving them in the living room.
“She was woken by a disturbance and went through to find McCann on top of her partner, assaulting him.”
McCann repeatedly punched William on the face and body.
The prosecutor said: “He had pinned Mr Prieston’s arms down using his legs rendering him defenceless.”
Miss Currie called for help, shouting to the 999 operator William was being attacked by his “pal”.
She managed to push McCann off her blood-soaked partner.
The victim – despite his facial injuries – was able to say McCann pounced on him “all of a sudden”.
His condition deteriorated in hospital, life support was withdrawn on December 7 and he died the next day.
The cause of death included multi-organ failure.
‘Short burst of violent conduct’
McCann, of Redding, Falkirk, was traced shortly after the attack.
His QC Thomas Ross told the High Court in Glasgow on Tuesday: “He and Mr Prieston had been friends for about nine years.
“They had got on well together and there had never been a cross word between them.”
Mr Ross added the attack had been a “short burst of violent conduct”.
Lord Weir ordered McCann be supervised for three years on his release.
The judge said: “There was no justification for subjecting the late Mr Prieston to such an assault.”