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HMA v Andrew Palfreman


Jan 13, 2023

At the High Court in Glasgow today Lord Summers sentenced Andrew Palfreman to life imprisonment with a punishment part of 12 years after the offender was found guilty of the murder of Barry MacLachlan


On sentencing Lord Summers made the following statement in court:

"Mr Palfreman you have been convicted of the murder of Barry MacLachlan. He died after being stabbed by you in your flat in Knapdale Street, Glasgow. The medical evidence indicated that you struck him seven times with a knife. Two of the wounds were fatal.  I heard evidence that even if prompt medical attention had been supplied it is unlikely Mr MacLachlan would have survived.

PC Gemmell gave evidence that when he arrived at the flat early on the morning of 3 July 2021 the stairwell was slippery with blood.  He found Barry MacLachlan’s body on the landing outside your flat. By then he had been dead for some time.

As if stabbing Mr MacLachlan was not bad enough, the jury saw the messages and photos you sent to a variety of people after he was stabbed. Some included laughing emojis. One denigrated the deceased as a “dafty”. Your conduct in the aftermath of the stabbing was concerning to say the least.

For the crime of murder the sentence fixed by law is life imprisonment. Accordingly I sentence you to life imprisonment for the murder of Barry McLachlan.

I am also required to the fix the punishment part. This is the period of time you must serve in prison before you become eligible to apply for parole.

In fixing this period I have acknowledge that your upbringing was neither happy nor stable. I also acknowledge that you have struggled with mental health issues over the years. These matters are covered in the CJSM report. I have listened carefully to Mr Paterson’s submissions and accept that you are remorseful for what you did and that you acted without premeditation.

I have also read the Victim Impact Statements from the deceased’s aunt and grandmother.

I must also however take notice of the fact that you have a conviction for violence involving two offences one with a bottle and the other with a knife in 2016.

The nature of the attack is also worthy of note. It appears to have been triggered by a dispute over a dog. I am unable to conclude that there was any element of provocation. Why Barry MacLachlan’s top was taken off and left folded on the kitchen bench is unclear. Whatever the position, the dispute that led to his stabbing appears to have been of the most trivial sort.  

I also consider that your attitude after the crime is concerning. You appear to have gloated over the death of Barry MacLachlan.  That said you do appear to have realised after about three hours, the enormity of what you had done and phoned the emergency services.

Having considered these issues and having regard to your unstable background, the lack of premeditation and the fact that you belatedly sought help, I have reached the conclusion that the punishment part should be set at 12 years. At that stage you may seek parole and it will be a matter thereafter for the responsible authorities whether you are ever released.

This sentence will take effect from 6 July 2021 when you were taken into custody."

13 January 2023