Thug jailed for murder of Lanarkshire man – seven years after initial conviction for attempted murder

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A thug jailed for trying to kill a beloved dad from Blantyre has now been convicted of murder after the victim later died.

Raymond Bell repeatedly smacked David Black with a table leg and stamped on him before leaving the 35 year-old stricken in the killer’s flat for days.

The brutal attack on November 2, 2014 followed a “trivial” row after Bell and another man appeared to like the same woman.

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Bell, 36, later fled to Blackpool before eventually being held by police.

He was locked up for nine years in 2015 after being convicted of attempted murder for the assault in Rutherglen.

Mr Black, of Blantyre, was left needing round the clock care.

The victim then tragically passed away at the Kilbryde Hospice in East Kilbride on October 27, 2019.

David passed away peacefully in the Kilbryde Hospice years after the assault.

He had suffered a form of pneumonia following a traumatic brain injury.

In a rare move, Bell was hauled back into the dock on a murder charge more than seven years after the attack.

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He again denied the accusation, but was convicted following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow today.

Lord Arthurson handed him a life sentence and ordered him to serve a minimum of 18 years backdated to November 2014 when Bell was first remanded.

The judge said: “You abandoned David Black until he was found on the kitchen floor by council officers.

“You fled to Blackpool on November 6, 2014 where in due course you were arrested.”

He added: “Your actions were not only misguided and self-serving, but callous and cowardly.”

Family man David Black with Donna-Marie and partner Helen Gillies prior to the attack

The judge also paid tribute to Mr Black’s family for their “enormous” efforts in caring for him after he was released from hospital in 2015.

The trial heard how the pair along with another man and a woman had been at Bell’s flat on the night of the killing.

At one point, she began stripping off and the other man put on her thong.

Bell was said to have told her to have “more respect for herself.”

An argument then broke out in the flat between all the men about the woman.

Referring to the man putting on the thong, prosecutor Lisa Gillespie QC told jurors: “Bell would have felt aggrieved as he appeared to have been in some form of relationship with the woman.”

Bell eventually pounced on Mr Black striking him with the table leg and stomping on him as he lay unconscious.

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The thug then fled his own flat leaving the victim immobile and badly hurt.

Bell initially told a woman he had been in a fight after “three guys had come through the door” of his home.

But, he then went on to admit he had “battered” a man with a table leg and that he was “still in his house.”

Despite the woman insisting he should return, Bell said: “I can’t, I can’t.”

Bell later checked with a neighbor of Mr Black if he had returned home.

It was November 5 before the victim was found in a pool of blood in Bell’s home.

As well as the brain injuries, he had been lying unable to move so long he had a pressure sore.

The killer went on to escape to Blackpool apparently for a “fresh start”.

But, prosecutor Miss Gillespie said: “I say he was fleeing the scene of a crime in Rutherglen and indifferent to Mr Black.”

It was a fortnight later before Bell was caught and brought back to Scotland.

After the verdict, Bell’s QC Tony Graham said: “The individuals present that night were all known to each other and had been on good terms previously.

“Something has taken place…something trivial has escalated.”

Following the guilty verdict, Lord Arthurson agreed to quash Bell’s original conviction for attempted murder since both stemmed from the same incident.

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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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