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Man jailed for life for murder of brother, partner and sibling’s cat

A murderer who killed his own brother, partner and his sibling’s cat has been jailed for life and ordered to spend at last 30 years behind bars.

Peter Duffy, 48, repeatedly stabbed John Paul Duffy, 51, and Emma Baillie, 26.

He hid his brother’s body under a pile of rubbish on a couch in Mr Duffy’s flat in Coatbridge.

He also killed his sibling’s cat with an axe during the bloodletting.

Duffy was also found to have strangled Ms Baillie, whose body was recovered from his own flat in the North Lanarkshire town, two days after his brother had been discovered.

Ms Baillie’s body was also found on a couch, covered in clothing.

John Paul Duffy. Pic: Police Scotland
Image: John Paul Duffy was murdered at his home by his brother. Pic: Police Scotland

At the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday, Lord Scott stated that both victims were vulnerable.

More on Scotland

The judge added: “Even after you murdered them, your victims were shown no respect and afforded no dignity.

“They suffered the further affront of simply being left by you to decompose where you murdered them.”

The murder of Ms Baillie is believed to have occurred between 4 March and 12 April 2022, while Mr Duffy died at some point between 29 March and 10 April 2022.

Emma Baillie. Pic: Police Scotland
Image: Emma Baillie was due to appear in court as a witness against Peter Duffy on an assault charge. Pic: Police Scotland

Mr Duffy’s body was found by police during a welfare check on 10 April 2022 after concerns were raised.

Officers forced entry to his flat and found the dead cat in a pool of blood in the hallway.

They then found Peter Duffy in a sleeping bag in the living room, near a couch where his brother lay dead.

‘Treat me like an animal, I will treat you like an animal’

When officers discovered the body, Duffy reportedly stated: “Treat me like an animal, I will treat you like an animal.”

Duffy later claimed he had found his brother’s body days before and stayed in case the killer returned.

He then stated he stabbed his brother on the shoulder and torso while acting in self-defence during a violent confrontation.

When Ms Baillie’s body was discovered in Duffy’s home during a search two days later, the killer claimed she had been dead a “good few days” when he found her and he had covered her in clothing “out of respect”.

Detective Constable Nicola Batton told the jury during Duffy’s trial that the smell of the decomposing body was one she would “never forget”.

‘A smell I will never forget’

Following Ms Baillie’s death, Duffy pretended to be her step-father to claim £198 of benefits on her behalf.

Lord Scott stated: “After Emma’s death, you busied yourself in using her money to provide for your needs, apparently also taking some time to mark your birthday.”

The court heard that Ms Baillie was due to appear as a witness against Duffy in an assault case at Airdrie Sheriff Court on 17 March, but failed to attend as he had most likely murdered her by then.

Lord Scott stated: “Whether that was why you murdered her may never be known but the timing seems more than just a coincidence.”

‘Killer planned, plotted and lied’

The judge said Duffy attempted to blacken the character of both of his victims, but the jury “saw right through” his lies.

He said the killer “planned, plotted and lied” to try and escape the consequences of his “awful” actions.

Lord Scott added: “A further consequence of your lies, however, is that your victims’ families and friends do not know, and may never know, what actually happened in their loved ones’ final moments beyond what is apparent from the fatal injuries you inflicted.”

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Duffy, who had previously spent time in jail for serious assault, was subject to three bail orders at the time he committed the killings.

He had denied any responsibility but was found guilty last month following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

A criminal justice social work report assessed him as posing a maximum risk of further offending.

‘Flashes of her final moments which he cannot shake’

Lord Scott noted a victim impact statement by Ms Baillie’s father, Stuart Baillie.

The judge said: “He described feeling bereft and numb, indeed saying that he wanted to feel numb.

“Nothing said or done here today, and no sentence I impose will be enough to help with the devastating loss of a much-loved daughter who was Stuart Baillie’s only child.

“He gets flashes of her final moments which he cannot shake. They prevent him from living life as he used to.

“He is, and will continue to be, affected every day by what you did to Emma. Emma’s mother has attended today and will obviously be equally devastated.”

As well as the life sentence with at least 30 years behind bars, Duffy was also banned from owning or keeping any animals for an indeterminate period.

Lord Scott stated: “This is due to your brutal killing of your brother’s pet cat.

“Disturbing though that act was, it pales into complete insignificance by comparison to the two murders.”

Sky News Source