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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Jail term for grandfather killing
John Lindsay
John Lindsay was 22 years old when he attacked Neil Duffy
A man who killed an Edinburgh grandfather in a street attack has been jailed for eight years.

John Lindsay, 24, was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday for the attack on Neil Duffy, 62.

Mr Duffy died from a ruptured spleen four days after the assault, near his home in Niddrie Marischal Grove on 7 January last year.

Lindsay was accused of murder initially, but later stood trial on a charge of culpable homicide.

Defence counsel Frances McMenamin QC said there had been previous ill-feeling between the two families who had always lived within a short distance of each other in Edinburgh.

Lord Uist said Mr Duffy had died from internal bleeding after suffering a ruptured spleen following the "calculated violence" inflicted on him.

He [Neil Duffy] would do anything for his three grandchildren
Debbie Betts
Victim's daughter

The judge told Lindsay: "You are no stranger to violence."

He said Lindsay had two previous convictions for assault and it was of concern that one was for an attack on the same victim when he was ordered to pay compensation and carry out community service.

Lindsay, who was 22 at the time of the attack, got out of his 4X4 vehicle and punched Mr Duffy and knocked him to the ground. The victim was then repeatedly kicked on the head and body.

Broken rib

Police took the victim to hospital where he was checked and discharged.

But worried members of his family took him back to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where he was given painkillers and sent home again.

Casualty doctors found he had suffered a broken rib but did not realise his spleen had been ruptured.

The family doctor called an ambulance, but by the time Mr Duffy was taken back to hospital he was dying from massive internal bleeding.

Lindsay, a security guard, claimed he was acting in self-defence.

Majority verdict

He did not give evidence, but the jury was shown a video of detectives questioning him as they investigated the death.

Lindsay said he was driving to his mother's home and added: "As I got to the end of my street Neil Duffy stuck his fingers up and started laughing."

He claimed he only wanted to talk to Mr Duffy and shake his hand, but alleged that the older man grabbed his jumper. The pair fell and there was a scuffle.

Lindsay told police: "I am not proud of what I did. I am not proud of what happened."

Lindsay was convicted of the killing on a majority verdict of the jury.

Mr Duffy's daughter, Debbie Betts, 35, said: "My dad was a character, very happy-go-lucky. He would do anything for anybody.

"The main centre of his life was his family. He would do anything for his three grandchildren."


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