Trio sentenced to 57 years for brutal killing of man found at nature reserve
Two men and a woman have been jailed for the “cold-blooded” killing of a man whose body was found at a nature reserve.
Steven Donaldson’s body was discovered in the car park at Kinnordy Nature Reserve near Kirriemuir, Angus, in the early hours of June 7 last year.
The 27-year-old from Arbroath, who had been lured to his death, was the victim of a “sustained and prolonged” attack involving extreme levels of violence, a court heard.
Callum Davidson and Steven Dickie were convicted earlier this month of murdering the offshore worker following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
The pair, both 24, were jailed for life when they returned to the court to hear their fate on Thursday.
A judge ordered Davidson to spend a minimum of 24 years behind bars while Dickie was told he must spend at least 23 years in jail.
Donaldson’s former girlfriend Tasmin Glass, 20, was told she would be detained for 10 years after being convicted of culpable homicide.
Passing sentence, judge Lord Pentland described the victim as a “loved and admired” young man who had established a career.
“He had many years of life to look forward to,” the judge added.
Lord Pentland told Dickie and Davidson had used “extreme violence” in their attack on Mr Donaldson (pictured) and that the assault was “sustained and prolonged”.
“You cut him down without mercy.”
He added: “What I am left with is a clear picture – demonstrating you are both cold-blooded, violent and unrepentant.”
Dickie and Davidson attacked Mr Donaldson after he had arranged to meet Glass, believing they would be meeting to discuss their relationship.
Mr Donaldson was initially attacked at the Peter Pan children’s play park at Kirriemuir, before he was transported to the nature reserve.
There, he was hit again on the head and body with a knife and a baseball bat and was repeatedly struck on the neck with a heavy, bladed weapon before his car was set on fire.
Judge Lord Pentland told the trio that victim impact statements submitted to the court set out the loss and devastation each of them had caused to Mr Donaldson’s family.
“The wickedness of your crime caused shock and outrage in the Angus area,” the judge told the killers.
Handing Davidson and Dickie mandatory life terms for murder, he said there were many aggravating factors to their crime.
One was the “extreme” level of violence used, while another was the fact that they had armed themselves with a variety of weapons, including a knife or knives, and possibly an axe or a cleaver.
They had demonstrated “unrestrained ferocity” in their attack as they “cut down” their victim, the court heard.
“It is important to bear in mind that Mr Donaldson had done neither of you any harm whatsoever,” the judge told the pair.
Lord Pentland told Glass it was clear that she had “instigated” the attack on Mr Donaldson and that there was evidence of manipulation and planning on her part.
She had shown a “chilling coolness” as she carried on as normal in the days following the death.
The judge said Glass must have known that the weapons would be used by her two co-accused against the victim.
“I conclude that without your influence, the fatal attack on Mr Donaldson would not have occurred,” Lord Pentland said.
There were shouts of “yes” and applause in the packed courtroom as her sentence was delivered.
In mitigation, it was suggested that Glass could not have foreseen the level of violence ultimately used.
Lawyers for Dickie and Davidson reiterated their position that they were not responsible for the death but said they had expressed remorse for what had happened.
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Police Scotland / PA Wire.