A convicted killer’s bid to overturn his latest jail term for threatening to stab a neighbour has failed.
Solicitors acting for David Kinloch, 35, argued their client had not been given a fair trial in January after his partner Amanda Britt – who was called as a witness during evidence – referred to his previous conviction for culpable homicide in front of the jury on more than one occasion.
But Appeal Court judges have rejected the claim there had been a miscarriage of justice and have dismissed Kinloch’s appeal.
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Kinloch had previously been jailed for killing his former girlfriend Sonya Todd at their home in Methil in 2008, subjecting her to a prolonged five-hour attack in which he repeatedly hit her with a dog chain.
He had initially faced a murder charge but he admitted a lesser charge of culpable homicide in light of evidence that Sonya’s diabetes had been a factor in her death.
In January Kinloch was back before a jury at Dunfermline Sheriff Court who found that on December 30, 2017, at Craigmyle Street, Kinloch behaved in a threatening or abusive manner by repeatedly shouting, swearing, repeatedly utter threats of violence towards Kieran Lock whilst in possession of a knife and pursued him.
He was also found guilty of being unlawfully in possession of a knife, and admitted a third charge that in Paton Street on the same night he repeatedly shouted, swore, challenged police officers to fight, uttered threats towards police and threatened to set his dog on them.
The proceedings had to be halted at different times due to outbursts by Kinloch and Britt, with the latter explicitly referring to Kinloch having killed someone, and she was subsequently jailed for four months for contempt of court.
The jury was directed by the sheriff that the previous conviction was not relevant to and should have no bearing upon their verdict, but lawyers for Kinloch claimed there was a “significant risk” that the information would discredit him and “materially impact” upon the assessment of whether he or Crown witnesses were telling the truth.
They went on to argue that the sheriff had therefore made a mistake by refusing a motion to desert the case.
Appeal Court judges Lord Menzies, Lord Drummond Young and Lord Glennie have now thrown Kinloch’s appeal out.
“In all of the circumstances of this case, we are not satisfied that the sheriff erred in his decision to refuse the motion for desertion,” Lord Menzies said in his ruling.
“There has been no miscarriage of justice, and this appeal will be refused.”