A grieving mum says she will never forgive the brutes who killed her son, but she feels sorry for their families whose lives have also been wrecked.
Margaret Girvan from Bainsford spoke out after the two men who threw Russell Robertson (27) over railings into the Forth and Clyde Canal at Bainsford Bridge last May were each sentenced to eight years in prison.
Mark Munro (31) from Denny and James Robertson (27) of Pitlochry stood trial for murder over Russell’s death, but were found guilty by a jury of the lesser charge of culpable homicide at the High Court in Glasgow last Wednesday.
Margaret told The Falkirk Herald this week: “We had to put our trust in the justice system, but we haven’t got the answers we were looking for. No one at the trial told the truth so we don’t know what happened that night.
“We knew from the start it was going to be a difficult case and probably a lesser charge than murder, but all we ever wanted was answers and we didn’t get them.
“If whatever happened had taken place further up the road, away from the canal, I don’t think Russell would have died.
“I don’t think their parents and families thought anything like this would happen to their sons when they went out that night either.”
“Their families and children will be without them while they are in jail, but I still lost a son and we just have to learn to cope with life without Russell.
“I do accept the sentence given to them, they have to be punished for what they did, but I will never forgive them.”
Mother-of-three Margaret, also thanked her community for their overwhelming support since Russell’s death in a post on social media.
She said: “To all who have supported us through this process it’s been a long 15 months and we thank you all. God bless xx”.
The family has received hundreds of messages of support on Facebook.
Katrina Mitchell posted: “I for one don’t know how you do this with so much dignity and respect for the other families. If I was in your position I don’t think I could. Hats off to you Mags n Scott n your boys and their families. You’re an example to everyone xx”.
Steffan Mcgechie said: “Such a nice guy am glad justice is in there ... it will never be good enough tho he was such a nice guy ... and from being a neighbour it wasn’t like we knew each other much but such a friendly guy and always said hi. Love to all family and friends x”.
Helen Crawford also said: “He will never be forgot, how could we ever forget that laugh that smile and his sense of humour also his loving caring nature. He left a big hole in lots of hearts”.
Russell, from Tamfourhill, who has two older brothers, Steven and Paul, struck his head as he fell and fractured his skull in the incident in the early hours of May 29, 2016. His body was retrieved from the Forth and Clyde canal more than an hour later.
A court heard that Russell would have been unconscious when he went into the water.
All three men had been at the Warehouse nightclub in Falkirk prior to the incident and were making their way home after 3am.
Lady Carmichael told Munro and James Robertson at the High Court in Edinburgh: “Russell Robertson will be missed forever by his family.”
She also revealed she had received a victim impact statement which very clearly set out the daily grief caused by the 27-year-old’s death.
The judge said: “You both participated in an act the consequences of which were unpredictable and which undoubtedly carried some degree of risk.
“No one may ever know why you pushed him over the railings. The whole incident was over within less than a minute.”