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Family of Barry Dixon reveal appeal plans following culpable homicide conviction

The family of Barry Dixon, pictured at Knockhill with brother Stuart, are preparing to launch a legal challenge.
The family of Barry Dixon, pictured at Knockhill with brother Stuart, are preparing to launch a legal challenge.

The family of a Perth man who was stabbed to death almost two years ago are preparing an appeal against his killer’s culpable homicide conviction and have begun a campaign for more prosecutions.

Last week, Robbie Smullen was convicted of  killing 22-year-old Barry Dixon at a flat in Perth’s Wallace Court in June 2019.

Smullen, 23, had pled not guilty to murdering former Perth Academy pupil Barry, maintaining he acted in self defence.

A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh rejected his claim and convicted him of culpable homicide last week.

Barry Dixon.
Barry Dixon.

Smullen’s mother, Mary Theresa Smullen, 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, 2019.

With sentencing expected next month, Barry’s family have been left frustrated by the legal system and are preparing to take the case further, having lodged a request for a review of the conviction.

Jade Taylor, Barry’s aunt and the spokeswoman her family’s Justice For Barry Dixon campaign, believes Smullen should have been convicted of murder but faced culpable homicide as a result of procedural errors.

The family fears Smullen could get a lighter sentence after being found guilty of a lesser charge and are continuing to press for more prosecutions.

Unable to progress their campaign until after sentencing, Barry’s family say they are employing the help of top Scottish solicitor Aamer Anwar.

Jade also told of her distress hearing evidence during the trial.

“It’s incredibly difficult and heartbreaking to sit through a trial, quietly listening to someone who killed your child lie and blame their victim,” she said.

“We had to listen to a recording of a 999 call.

“Barry was heard screaming out in pain and fear in the background.

“After the third scream, I had to run out of the courtroom to scream myself.

“Robbie Smullen was still found guilty of killing Barry and his mother was also convicted.

“They are due to be sentenced next month and we can only hope that the judge will realise there has been a serious injustice.

“I think it will be much easier to get answers now that this trial has finished and we couldn’t do much publicly because of the trial.”

Motorsport enthusiast Barry, from Perth.

His family launched a fundraising page for RNLI after his death, raising more than £1,000 for the charity who will print Barry’s name on one of their new vessels.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said they could not comment until after sentencing.

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