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 Judges Blunder may Free Killer

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PostSubject: Judges Blunder may Free Killer   Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:54 pm



By Graham McKendry and James Mulholland, 07/02/2009

A CALLOUS killer who murdered an innocent partygoer could soon be back on the streets due to a legal blunder.

Vile drug addict John Hopkinson left Allan Lennox to bleed to death in an alleyway after robbing him at knife-point to get money for drugs.

He and twisted sidekick Amy Stewart, 24, were given life at the High Court in Edinburgh in February 2004 for murdering the 21-year-old electician.

But due to a mistake by trial judge Lord Abernethy, Hopkinson had his conviction QUASHED last week.

The vile 32-year-old appealed, claiming the beak should have told the jury they could have considered a charge of culpable homicide instead of murder.

And a written decision ruled that the conviction was unsafe.

Now Hopkinson may be given the chance to plead guilty to the lesser charge and, with the time he’s already served, could be eligible for immediate release.

A legal insider said: “The definition of murder is that the accused must have planned and carried out the cold-blooded killing. Evidence suggested Hopkinson didn’t want Lennox to die.”

Hopkinson and Stewart robbed Allan in a lane dubbed “Muggers’ Alley” near his home in Glasgow’s Gorbals in August 2003.

Stewart stabbed him in the thigh, cutting a major artery — and the pair were later caught kissing and cuddling on CCTV as they went to buy heroin.

Last night a source close to Allan’s family said: “The prospect of him out is sickening.

“The loss of Allan, a decent and hard-working lad, was an awful blow. It’s dreadful that the family continue to suffer at the hands of Hopkinson.”

A Crown Office spokesman said: “We note the decision and we shall consider our position prior to the next hearing on February 26.
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