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Painter's killer is jailed for life

A KILLER who murdered an innocent painter and decorator who was working at a flat at the time of an armed raid has been jailed for life.

Martin Magee was ordered to serve at least 22 years in prison before he becomes eligible to seek release on parole.

His victim, Hugh Porteous, 49, a father-of-two, had been in the wrong place at the wrong time when Magee and his masked accomplices burst into a flat in Greenock, in August 22, 2011.

Mr Porteous, who has been described as a well-respected figure in the community, was stabbed in the heart by the intruders after they stormed the property demanding drugs and money.

Mr Porteous had been pricing up a renovation job at the flat, which had been used as a drugs den.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Judge Lady Scott said the victim had no connection with drugs and that it was clear members of his family had been left devastated by the crime.

The judge sentenced Magee, 40, to life for the murder, saying she had to take into account the deliberate and vicious nature of this lethal attack.

Detective Inspector David Wagstaff, of Strathclyde Police, said: "I am satisfied with the sentence handed to Martin Magee at the High Court in Glasgow for his part in the vicious murder of Hugh Porteous.

"Hugh was a well known and respected member of the Greenock community, and by simply visiting a flat in Neil Street in August 2011 he was brutally attacked by Martin Magee and he lost his life at only 49 years of age.

"The actions of Magee have left Hugh's family devastated and their lives will never be the same again. I hope that today's sentencing has provided them with a degree of comfort knowing that Magee will be behind bars for a considerable length of time."

Mr Porteous was immediately stabbed when Magee and his accomplice burst into the property.

Magee also tried to murder another man in the flat, James Kane, who was repeatedly struck with a baseball bat and knife.

The judge said that Mr Kane was lucky to survive.

A third man, David Rice, was also hit with a bat and knife and a bid was made to cut off his fingers to rob him of jewellery.

Magee was found guilty of assaulting him to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

A woman who was at the flat, Jacqueline Branchfield, was also assaulted.

Lady Scott said other victims were left badly scarred and traumatised following the assaults.

She told Magee, who was kept handcuffed in the dock, that she took into account his conviction on the other assault charges when setting the minimum term to be served for the murder.

Defence counsel Thomas Ross said that in recent years Magee had been responsible for caring for his children.

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