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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 16:38 GMT
Tea break row murder conviction
Steven McArdle
Steven McArdle named his killer before he died
A bakery worker who stabbed his colleague through the heart in a row over tea breaks has been convicted of murder at the High Court in Glasgow.

Paul Steadward, 35, is facing a life sentence for stabbing father-of-two Steven McArdle at Warburtons bakery in Bellshill in March.

The court heard that Steadward snapped when his 26-year-old workmate came back 15 minutes late from a tea break.

The judge deferred sentence until next month for background reports.

During his three-day trial, Steadward denied murdering Mr McArdle and lodged a special defence of self-defence.

He showed no emotion as the jury returned a majority verdict.

The court heard there was an argument between the two men, who were both working a 12-hour nightshift.

'Taking swipes'

Two colleagues - Andrew Collins and Thomas Pattison - told the court that Steadward had been complaining to Mr McArdle about the length of time he was taking for his break.

Scott McFarlane, a production worker at Warburtons, told the court that he saw the pair arguing at about 043O on 8 March.

Minutes later he saw Mr McArdle leave the factory followed by Steadward.

Mr McFarlane said told Hugh Irwin, prosecuting: "I thought they were going out for a fight. I was going to split them up.

"I was trying to get the two of them back in before they got the sack."

As he walked towards them he realised they were scuffling.

Mr McFarlane said: "I could hear Steven saying: "He's trying to slash me'.

"I saw Paul taking swipes at Steven. He had something gripped in his hand," he said.

I'm dreading Christmas without him - it was always a wonderful time for the two of us and the children
June McIntosh
Steven McArdle's partner

"I thought it was a locker key to start with. We are not allowed knives in the factory.

"I said to Paul: 'You've stabbed him' and he said - 'I'll stab him again,' and then ran into the factory."

Steadward had stabbed Mr McArdle, known as Steph, twice with a 10in knife.

One blow went straight through his heart, fatally wounding him.

As he lay dying Mr McArdle managed to tell the first policeman on the scene: "It was Paul. He stabbed me."

Steven's partner June McIntosh, from Coatbridge, said: "It's the right decision, but nothing will bring my Steven back.

"I'm dreading Christmas without him. It was always a wonderful time for the two of us and the children.

"Our two children, seven-year-old Chloe and six-year-old Steven, are devastated by his death."

Dying man 'identified his killer'
10 Dec 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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