An evil killer who kicked an innocent man to death during a homophobic gang attack has failed in his bid to be released from prison.
David Meehan, from Perth, was handed a life sentence after pleading guilty to murdering 51-year-old council worker James Kerr in April 2007.
The then 19-year-old was ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years behind bars due to the “callous and brutal” character of his crime, which involved two other offenders.
But this timescale was reduced to 14 years on appeal with the term due to expire in April 2021.
The Parole Board for Scotland refused to release him as a consequence of his drug use behind bars with him believed to have links to “serious organized crime”.
The killer, now 34, attempted to appeal their decision but his case was rejected by a panel of judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
A decision by the judges said: “The Court reached the view that, as a consequence of his drug use, Meehan was “involved in serious organized crime” and therefore presented a significant and continuing risk of violence to the public.
“It may be that such an inference may not properly be drawn, at least on the information available to us. However, his drug use was not the only consideration before the Court.
“He was assessed as presenting a medium level of risk in terms of general reoffending and a medium risk of serious harm.
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“The Tribunal also took into account the circumstances of the index offense described by the trial judge as having been ‘a killing of a callous and brutal character’; his conduct of him since sentence, including his accrual of several misconduct reports and two further convictions in 2011 and 2017 together with the lack of any sustained and successful period of unescorted community testing.
“His social workers did not support his release to the community. Looking at matters in the round, therefore, it appears clear that the Tribunal provided sufficient reasons for its decision.
“The petition cannot be said to have a realistic prospect of success. His reclaiming motion must also therefore be refused.”
His legal team had argued that the Parole Board had not properly assessed whether he was a risk to the public – instead focusing on his substance abuse problems.
Meehan was caught on camera snorting a powder substance while behind bars at HMP Perth in 2017.
It took place while he was serving his time for the murder of Perth and Kinross worker Kerr, who died after being repeatedly kicked in the face and head.
His killers – including a 15-year-old schoolboy – left him in a pool of blood before later boasting at a flat party that they had assaulted somebody in South Inch Park.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.