A judge praised the “bravery and self-sacrifice” of a 10-year-old boy who spent his dying moments trying to save another child after he was stabbed by his father.
Kane Morris, from Coupar Angus was stabbed six times by his father as the youngster lay in bed on November 11.
During an appearance at the High Court in Glasgow, Karl Morris, also known as Andrew, pled guilty to killing him.
The 38-year-old also launched a savage attack on a girl who was in the flat at the time.
The eight-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was stabbed in her lung but survived the attack.
Paramedics found that Kane, after being stabbed once in the chest and five times in the back, attempted to reach the room where the girl had been sleeping.
Sentence on Morris was deferred yesterday.
Lord Mulholland said: “I will not make any remarks today, with one exception.
“It seems to me Kane showed incredible bravery and self-sacrifice.
“Having sustained these life-ending injuries, rather than himself being his primary concern, his concern was for the girl.”
The court heard how Morris had barricaded the door of his Union Street flat with a microwave before stabbing his son and the girl.
He then stabbed himself several times in the chest before jumping from a third-floor window on to a parked car.
He then crawled out to the main road in a perceived attempt to end his life.
Neighbours reported hearing a child screaming.
The court heard paramedics rushed to treat Morris as he lay injured in the street and he told them he had stabbed two children.
Efforts to get to the children were hampered because Morris had barricaded the front door.
When they got inside they found the girl who had stab wounds to her abdomen and limbs.
Kane was collapsed outside the bedroom she had been sleeping in.
He was gravely injured and died at 3.24am. The girl suffered a collapsed lung and spent four weeks in hospital.
Morris had five stab wounds, a fractured left femur, a fracture of his pelvis and rib injuries which were all self-inflicted.
Despite claiming to have no memory of the killing, outside of official interviews Morris was recorded on several occasions as admitting to officers that he had attacked the children and thrown himself from the building.
On one occasion he told police: “Why did I not die? I jumped off a roof and stabbed myself in the same way I stabbed them.”
Members of Kane’s family sitting in the public gallery of the court sobbed and Morris was also crying in the dock as the facts were read out.
Morris admitted a charge of culpable homicide, reduced from murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility, accepting he fatally struck Kane several times with a knife.
He also admitted a charge of attempted murder against the girl and a third charge of possessing cannabis on November 11 last year.
Defence advocate Stephen Hughes said he would await reports before delivering a mitigating statement.
Morris was remanded at Carstairs state hospital.
Lord Mulholland deferred sentence until August 12, pending psychiatric and criminal justice reports.
Killer told police: “I’ve done a horrible thing”
Morris was originally charged with murdering his son Kane, a pupil at Coupar Angus primary school, but prosecutors accepted a reduced plea to culpable homicide on the basis of diminished responsibility.
When questioned by detectives Morris told them: “I was taking them to a better place away from evil.”
Later he said: “I’ve done a horrible thing.”
Prosecutor Alan Prentice QC said: “In the course of a meeting with psychiatrists the accused stated that he acted to protect himself and his family from some impending, but otherwise unspecified, mortal danger.”
Morris, who was in the Army for five years, worked as a farm hand in the family business in Coupar Angus, Perthshire.
Mr Prentice added Morris had been under stress working as a farmhand at his family business in Coupar Angus, exacerbated following the death of his stepfather in an industrial accident there in May last year.
The court heard friends visited Morris and left him watching football and drinking a cup of tea at shortly after midnight.
Around 1.52am Morris’ niece Iona McPherson made a one-minute drunken call to him and put the phone on loudspeaker.
Mr Prentice said: “In the minutes that followed, the accused killed his 10-year-old son, caused near fatal injuries to an eight-year-old girl and then stabbed himself before jumping out a third floor window.
“The accused claims to have no memory of killing one child and attempting to murder another.
“However, he said he thought he heard his niece Iona cackling on the phone and said subsequent events were blurry.
“As a result of this call he said he acted to protect himself and his family from some impending mortal danger.”