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Killer James Kennedy may never be freed after stabbing girlfriend


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Killer James Kennedy may never be freed after stabbing girlfriend

Image copyright Spindrift Image caption James Kennedy admitted stabbing Joanne Gallacher to death A man who stabbed his girlfriend to death, leaving her with 57 wounds, has been told he may never be released.James Kennedy, 33, attacked Joanne Gallagher at his home in Biggar, South Lanarkshire, in December last year.The 33-year-old mother had visited Kennedy…

James KennedyImage copyright
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James Kennedy admitted stabbing Joanne Gallacher to death

A man who stabbed his girlfriend to death, leaving her with 57 wounds, has been told he may never be released.

James Kennedy, 33, attacked Joanne Gallagher at his home in Biggar, South Lanarkshire, in December last year.

The 33-year-old mother had visited Kennedy just hours after he was released from hospital because she feared he was in a “bad place”.

Kennedy, who had previous psychiatric issues, pled guilty in June to the reduced charge of culpable homicide.

This was on the basis of diminished responsibility due to him suffering “an abnormality of the mind” at the time of the killing.

Lord Mulholland imposed compulsion and restriction orders for Kennedy to remain at the State Hospital at Carstairs.

He told Kennedy that he may never be released from the secure psychiatric facility,

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Joanne Gallacher was killed in a flat in Biggar

Ms Gallacher, of East Kilbride, had visited Kennedy two days before she died.

He claimed to have swallowed weed killer and she immediately called for an ambulance.

He was later discharged from hospital with a follow up appointment made for a short time later.

On the day of her death, Ms Gallacher contacted the hospital to express concerns about him being sent home.

She had been out Christmas shopping with family in Glasgow when she returned to Kennedy’s flat.

A neighbour heard her arrive and soon heard Kennedy’s voice getting “louder” followed by screaming.

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‘It was me’

Kennedy called police at about midnight and said there had been a “murder in the kitchen” adding: “It was me”.

Police arrived to find Kennedy covered in blood but appearing “lucid” and “calm”.

Ms Gallagher was found dead on the kitchen floor. She had suffered at least 57 wounds.

Kennedy later told police: “It was me that done it. There was not anyone else. I was in shock.”

After examination, doctors concluded that Kennedy, who initially had faced a murder charge, was suffering from a “delusional disorder”.

His QC Shelagh McCall said: “It is clear at the time of the offence, he was unwell.”

The decision to keep Kennedy in the psychiatric hospital was made after the judge heard from doctors who have been treating him.

Lord Mulholland said: “I must first express the court’s sympathy to the family of Joanne Gallagher for their loss.

“She met her death in such horrific circumstances.

“From what I have read, she was truly loved and will be missed.”

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