Heartbroken Blantyre mother’s ‘total relief’ at murder conviction of her son’s attackers

The mother of a Blantyre man who was left for dead after a savage beating has spoken of her relief when her attacker was jailed for murder, seven years after an initial conviction for attempted murder.

Kate Neil was devastated after her son David Black required 24 hours a day after the attack.

Raymond Bell left David in a vegetative state following the horrific assault on his Rutherglen home in November 2014.

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But, after David’s death in 2019 from pneumonia brought on by his traumatic brain injury, Bell, who was serving nine years for attempted murder, was brought back to court on a murder charge.

And last week, the 36-year-old was sentenced at Glasgow High Court, where Lord Arthurson sentenced him to life in prison and ordered him to serve a minimum of 18 years, going back to 2014 when he was first remanded.

Now David’s mother, Kate, who cared for her son after the attack, has said she was “totally relieved” and tells us justice has been served.

raymond bell
Raymond Bell (pictured) was convicted at Glasgow High Court of the murder of David Black in a Rutherglen flat in 2014.

She told Lanarkshire Live: “I got the letter to say that Bell was on trial for murder and I was terrified.

“I didn’t want to confront him, but a lot of people told me I had to go and make sure he never walked the streets. So I was determined to go to court.”

“During the trial, if there was any evidence that he had tried to turn his life around and rehabilitate himself for the last seven years, then I would have felt terrible that she had been called to face a murder trial after serving so long.

Family man David Black with Donna-Marie and her partner Helen Gillies before the attack

“But when we saw him, he didn’t show any remorse. In fact, she was looking at my daughter trying to intimidate her at all times.

“He just seemed cocky.

“When the judge announced that he had been sentenced for 18 years, it was a feeling of absolute relief that he will not be walking the streets for a long, long time.”

In 2014, Bell, now 36, attacked David with a table leg and savagely stomped on him as he lay unconscious after a fight.

He then fled the estate to Blackpool, leaving the father-of-one for dead on the ground.

It wasn’t until four days later that David, 35, was discovered by council officers in a pool of blood inside Bell’s property.

After being tracked south by police two weeks later, Bell was convicted of David’s attempted murder in 2015 and sentenced to nine years.

David’s life-changing injuries were so severe that his only form of communication was blinking.

Detective Inspector Alan McAlpine welcomed the conviction.

He told Lanarkshire Live this week: “David Black endured a brutal and violent attack, leading to him requiring 24-hour care and ultimately resulting in his death.

“We hope this outcome will be of some comfort to David’s family and friends who have also suffered at the hands of Bell’s actions.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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