A bragging killer who fatally wounded a man in the heart in a knife attack is facing a lengthy jail sentence.
Angry Robbie Smullen stabbed Barry Dixon, from Dundee, after he found him at the flat of his then partner in the Tulloch area of Perth.
Smullen, 23, had denied murdering 22-year-old Mr Dixon in the attack at 25 Wallace Court on June 4 in 2019 and maintained that he acted in self defence.
But a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh rejected his claim and convicted him of killing his victim on the lesser charge of culpable homicide.
Smullen’s mother, Mary Theressa Smullen, 46, had appeared beside him in the dock during the trial before admitting a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice on June 4 in 2019.
She pretended to police officers that the crime had been committed by Smullen’s former girlfriend Shannon Beattie, knowing that her son had stabbed Mr Dixon.
A judge deferred sentence on the pair for the preparation of background reports until next month and the mother was allowed bail while her son was held in custody.
Lady Carmichael told jurors: “Cases where there has been a loss of life are always anxious and distressing cases.”
The court heard that after the knife attack Mr Dixon was taken to Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital where a scan revealed he had fluid in the sac around the heart.
Blood gathered around the vital organ was removed but a stab injury to the heart was identified. Mr Dixon went into cardiac arrest during efforts to repair the injury and life was later pronounced dead.
The court heard Smullen had bragged about killing Mr Dixon afterwards.
Police and paramedics had attended at the flat in Perth after an emergency call and found Mr Dixon in the living room with a visible chest wound.
The court heard that Smullen had earlier rowed with Miss Beattie, the mother of his child, after she suspected he was the father of another woman’s baby.
She had asked him and his friends to leave her flat, which she shared with Smullen at the time, and they eventually did.
Miss Beattie, 25, said she left seeking a cigarette and met with up with Mr Dixon before returning to her flat where they were drinking and having a laugh.
She said that nothing sexual occurred between them but Mr Dixon, a friend, was in his boxer shorts when Smullen, who had also been drinking, arrived at the flat in the early hours of the morning.
She said Smullen told her to open the door and called her a name. When Smullen entered he asked Mr Dixon what he was doing in his house.
Miss Beattie said Mr Dixon asked him to calm down and said he had not been having sex with her. She said fighting broke out and she tried to split them up but Smullen pushed her away.
She said: “I just remember seeing Robbie on my right hand side and Barry was on my left hand side and Robbie stabbed him. It just happened so fast.”
She left the flat and went to the home of acquaintances where she told them Smullen had murdered her friend, she said.
Smullen went to his mother’s home in Carnegie Place, in Perth.
Witness Brian Henderson, 48, said that when he walked into the house Smullen’s mother was battering him, saying: “What did you do that for?”
Mr Henderson told police that Smullen was asking what would happen if he had killed him. Smullen’s mother and others left to go to the flat before returning.
“When Robbie heard the news he had killed him he wasn’t upset. He was bragging about it,” he said, adding he thought it was “sick”.
Smullen told the court that when he arrived at the Wallace Court flat he was angry and upset to find Mr Dixon there and thought he and his then partner were having sex.
He said: “I told him to get out my house.” He said Mr Dixon laughed and said he did not have sex with Miss Beattie.
Smullen claimed that Mr Dixon walked towards him and threw a punch. He alleged that he became aware of a knife in Mr Dixon’s hand and grabbed his arm and they tripped and fell during a struggle.
He said he fell on top of Mr Dixon and realised that he had been stabbed when he got up. He said he was terrified and panicked and ran “to go and get help”.