US News

16-year jail term for pub killer

A killer who murdered a stranger in a Lockerbie pub toilet has been jailed for a minimum of 16 years.

Stefan McCormack, 33, punched, kicked and stamped on Rafal Sieja in the Black Bull bar on July 5, 2019.

McCormack had earlier been told by a friend that Mr Sieja, also 33, was suspected of a crime in the local area.

Seconds after the beating, CCTV captured him coming back to his friend, casually having a drink of his lager then leaving the pub.

The victim was eventually found stricken in the toilet before dying in hospital three weeks later.

McCormack, from Lockerbie, was on Wednesday given a life sentence at the High Court in Glasgow having earlier been convicted of murder.

Lord Fairley told him: “This was a man, who, prior to these events, was barely known to you.

“You have deprived him and his family of what would have been many more years of his life.

“Mr Sieja was simply enjoying a night out. You, having been motivated by unsubstantiated gossip, confronted him in the toilet and attacked him with such violence.

“It has been noted at no stage did you express any empathy for Mr Sieja or about his death.”

McCormack, who had convictions for theft, housebreaking and domestic violence, waved to family as he was lead to the cells.

Jurors heard how he had been at the pub along with David Barrett.

He did not know Mr Sieja, but had clocked his friend talking to him that night.

McCormack later asked who Mr Sieja was before being told by Mr Barrett the man had been “accused” of an offence.

He went on to quiz bar staff why the victim – nicknamed Jedi – was being served.

The killer was later spotted going to the toilet and Mr Sieja went in soon after.

It was there McCormack battered his victim and left him helpless on the ground.

Mr Barrett gave evidence during the trial and was shown CCTV of his friend returning from the toilet.

Asked what it showed, the witness said: “He came to the bar, picked up his pint, had a swig, put it down and then left.”

McCormack phoned Mr Barrett to check on Mr Sieja.

He was said to have stated at one point: “Oh s***, I must have done him right in.”

But, it was later before the alarm was raised and the victim was rushed to hospital.

He was initially in a coma, but died on July 27 from a serious head injury.

The trial was told McCormack had confronted Mr Sieja about the alleged crime, gave him a “couple of slaps” then “lost it”.

But, in court, he told his QC Thomas Ross, Mr Sieja had been aggressive to him and he had pushed him to get out the toilet.

Lord Fairley this week branded his claims as “implausible and self-serving”.

Afterwards Detective Inspector Dean Little, of Dumfries CID, said: “The sentencing of Stefan McCormack will hopefully provide the family of Rafal Sieja with some closure.

“This was an unprovoked attack from an individual which led to a man losing his life.

“Stefan will now have to face the consequences of his actions.”

Source link

Back to top button