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Wednesday, September 22, 1999 Published at 05:33 GMT 06:33 UK

UK: Scotland

Rangers fan gets life for murder

David Hutton, 21, stabbed his victim during a street brawl

A Rangers fan has been jailed for life for murdering a teenage Celtic supporter after this year's Scottish Cup final.

David Hutton, 21, stabbed Thomas McFadden during a street brawl in Glasgow following the match.

James Shaw: "The confrontation started shortly after the final whistle"
His co-accused, Peter Rushford, also 21, was cleared of murder but found guilty of assaulting the 16-year-old and sentenced to one year in prison, backdated to 1 June.

Rushford, of Bankhall Street, in Glasgow, and Hutton, of no fixed address, had both denied murdering Mr McFadden on 29 May.

[ image: The High Court in Glasgow]
The High Court in Glasgow
The court had heard that what started off as an exchange of footballing and sectarian insults after Rangers beat their Old Firm rivals Celtic 1-0 ended up in a fatal brawl just yards from Mr McFadden's home in Bankhall Street.

As the young Celtic supporter slumped to the ground, he sang the Celtic anthem The Fields of Athenry and stuck his fist in the air.

On the last day of evidence at the High Court in Glasgow on Monday, Hutton admitted stabbing his victim four times in a "minute of madness" but added: "I am no monster."

Rushford said he did not know Hutton had stabbed the young fan until later on.

The jury took one and a half hours to reach their decisions and the men showed no emotion as Lord Caplan passed sentence.

He told Hutton: "You have been found guilty of a despicable crime."

Custodial sentence

Turning to Rushford, he said he would backdate his sentence to 1 June but still felt a custodial sentence was necessary because of the circumstances of Mr McFadden's death.

"You have been found guilty of assault and you have no criminal record.

"However, there are special features of this case which I have to take into account.

"First of all, it was a particularly mean assault. The two of you were older than him. He had not done anything to merit the assault.

"You led the charge, as it were, and it was your running after him that began the matter. Mr Hutton had followed you.

"The court takes a particularly dim view of football violence and this was a particularly nasty incident."

Victim's heart

Hutton admitted in court that he stabbed Mr McFadden four times during the assault and the court heard two of the blows penetrated the victim's heart.

The two men had earlier watched the match on TV at Rushford's flat also in Bankhall Street, which he shared with girlfriend Emma Skett, 20.

Rushford admitted in court that the teenager might still be alive if he had not chased and assaulted him.

Rushford was joined in the attack by Hutton, who told the court that in the previous 24 hours he had taken temazepam, ecstasy and alcohol, but Rushford said he did not know his friend was carrying a knife.

Mr McFadden's family remained quiet as sentence was passed but one later said: "We are shocked that Rushford was cleared.

"He will be out in time to eat his Christmas dinner and we'll all still be mourning Thomas's death."

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