Teenager jailed for stabbing man to death in Camelon

The incident took place in a property in Burnside Court, Camelon in June this year.
The incident took place in a property in Burnside Court, Camelon in June this year.

A teenage drug dealer was jailed for five and a half years today after stabbing a man to death with the victim’s own knife.

The youth had earlier sold crack cocaine to James Baillie who turned up at a Camelon flat with an armed accomplice in a bid to rob him of drugs.

But the teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, disarmed Mr Baillie of a large knife and stabbed him and his half brother George Merrilees seven times each.

A judge told the teenager at the High Court in Edinburgh: “This is a tragic case for all concerned in which there are both mitigating and aggravating features.”

Lord Beckett said: “In your favour is that you have no previous convictions. It is apparent you were the intended victim of a planned assault and robbery.”

But the judge said that the teenager was targeted because of what he was doing and that his response was “ferocious”.

Lord Beckett said: “A life has been lost with all the heartache and loss that follows for Mr Baillie’s family and friends.”

He told the teenager that he would have faced an eight year sentence, but for his guilty pleas.

The teenager earlier admitted killing Mr Baillie (40), by repeatedly stabbing him on the body with a knife at a flat at Burnside Court, Camelon on June 27 this year.

He also pled guilty to assaulting Mr Merrilees to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life by repeatedly stabbing him.

The court heard that the 17-year-old had travelled to Falkirk from London by train and arrived in the town two days before the killing.

On the day before his death Mr Baillie was taking crack cocaine with Mr Merrilees after he had won £320 at the bookies.

He said he had bought the drugs from the youth who looked “very nervous” during the transaction and described that he had a large quantity of crack cocaine.

Advocate depute Chris McKenna said: “At this point the deceased mentioned to Merrilees that they should rob the accused of his drugs and they started to plot how to carry this out.”

“An agreement was reached to rob the accused with the drugs to be split up afterwards,” said the prosecutor.

Mr Baillie was under a court curfew at the time requiring him to remain at home until 7am and they decided they would not go to the flat where the teenager was staying until after that.

They set off with Mr Baillie armed with a large knife and a Swiss army knife and Mr Merrilees taking an extendable baton.

They entered the flat at Burnside Court brandishing weapons to confront the 17-year-old but a struggle broke out and he disarmed Mr Baillie before stabbing both men.

The teenager then began to leave the flat but was stopped by other occupants and punched.

The youth fled from the premises and emergency services were called.

Mr Merrilees underwent surgery and was found to have internal bleeding from an artery which was life threatening.

Mr Baillie was found to have sustained a fatal wound which was 17 centimetres deep and damaged his heart.

The youth made his way back to London and Scottish police officers travelled there to work with colleagues from the Metropolitan police to identify the perpetrator.

The teenager handed himself in at Bromley police station on July 15.

A phone call he made with his mother while in custody was recorded in which he said: “How is it my fault if he’s tried to kill me? How am I not going to do anything?”

He said he could have coped if they were children but could not cope against grown men.

Defence counsel Derek Ogg QC said the teenager had expressed shock at his involvement in the death of another person.

He said the first offender had no experience of the criminal justice system previously in either Scotland or England.