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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 16:49 GMT
Man kills friend over PlayStation
Alan Stirling (pic by Ciaran Donnelly)
Alan Stirling beat his friend to death
A man has been jailed for four years after battering his friend to death in a row over a PlayStation.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Alan Stirling repeatedly punched and kicked Paul McDonald on the head and body.

Stirling, of Kemnay Gardens, Dundee, was originally charged with murdering Paul McDonald but the Crown accepted a guilty plea to culpable homicide.

Passing sentence Lord McPhail said if Mr McDonald had received medical help after the attack he may have lived.

He told Stirling, who had been abusing drink and drugs, that there were indications he had tried to help the 35-year-old father-of-one after the assault and that he had shown genuine remorse.

Lost temper

"The deceased was your good friend. It appears you became angry with him because he broke your PlayStation."

However he added: "The fact remains your friend lost his life, his family has lost the deceased and in particular his little girl has lost a father and you are responsible."

The court heard how Mr McDonald had been at Stirling's flat on 10 August last year with another friend watching football on TV and drinking.

Mr McDonald had fallen asleep and Stirling was woken at 0400 GMT or 0500 GMT by a crash. It appeared that Mr McDonald either stumbled into or knocked over the TV.

Defence counsel Mark Stewart QC said there had been some fear the computer would be damaged and an argument broke out.

During a struggle, Stirling got bitten and lost his temper and attacked the other man, Mr Stewart said.

He added that afterwards Stirling went to help Mr McDonald and found him in the lobby where he thought he was still sleeping off the effects of drink.

He later carried his victim back to his upstairs flat in the same block and checked up on him.

Mr Stewart added: "It is extremely unfortunate that no one sought the medical attention which could have saved this man's life."

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