Adolescent Perpetrator Captured with Knife Just Prior to Fatally Assaulting 14-Year-Old Boy at Train Station

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Daniel Haig was captured on CCTV with the knife. Pic: Crown Office
Daniel Haig was captured on CCTV with the knife. Pic: Crown Office
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A young individual was captured holding a knife, which they subsequently employed to fatally wound a 14-year-old male student, moments after the image was taken.

At the age of 18, Daniel Haig was captured in additional CCTV footage arriving at Glasgow’s High Street station. Tragically, he was later involved in a lethal assault before fleeing the location.

Following his violent act, Haig has been sentenced to a minimum of 16 years in prison. His actions led to the tragic demise of Justin McLaughlin, who was stabbed in the heart and left to perish on a railway platform.

Just prior to the incident, Haig rushed towards a group of young individuals, including Justin, resulting in a confrontation on the platform. Following the altercation’s conclusion, Haig ventured onto the tracks to retrieve the bladed weapon he had dropped.

The assailant delivered the lethal strike when Justin stumbled and fell while being pursued at the station in October 2021.

Justin, who had recently marked his birthday just two days before, desperately called out for his mother as his companions attempted to assist him subsequent to the stabbing. Despite being transported to the hospital, he never managed to regain his health.

At the moment of the assault, Haig was 16 years old. He confessed to stabbing Justin but contested the charge of murder. However, in June, he was declared guilty after a trial held at the High Court in Glasgow.

Subsequently, he received a life sentence, with a stipulated minimum of 16 years to be served in prison. This verdict was delivered at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

The judge said the murder had a “devastating effect” on the victim’s family.

Lord Clark said: “They are left with the dreadful loss you have caused for the rest of their lives.”

The judge described it as a “brutal murder”.

He added: “Justin McLaughin was only 14, a child.

“And he was just getting back on his feet when you stabbed him. He was in a defenceless position.”

During the trial, it was revealed that Haig engaged in a physical altercation with Justin and a cohort of his friends at the railway station on October 16, 2021.

Haig produced a knife from his backpack and was captured on CCTV pursuing the group of young individuals. The footage also captured him leaping onto the train tracks to recover the weapon after accidentally dropping it.

Lord Clark said: “They were all running some distance away from you, but Justin McLaughlin tripped and fell.

“You ran right up to him and as he was standing back up you stabbed him. The knife went right through his heart.”

The judge added it was “deeply disturbing” to see gang activity still happening in Scotland.

Lord Clark said: “It has been going on for many decades. A boy with a knife attacking and killing another boy because he is from a different local scheme, and there is gang rivalry, is completely senseless.”

Haig asserted that he carried the blade with the intention of “protection,” citing a previous assault he had experienced just a day before. He maintained that he had no intention of fatally harming the young person from Coatbridge and expressed remorse, stating he felt deeply regretful about the incident.

Defence counsel John Scullion KC said: “He now bitterly regrets his actions and the tragic consequences for the deceased and his family.”

Mr Scullion said Haig had “adverse childhood experiences during formative years” and by the time he was 16 he was regularly using drugs and alcohol.

The defence counsel said the case represented “a tragic waste of human life”.

Justin’s family said their lives would “never be the same”.

Paying tribute to their “blue-eyed boy”, they said: “He was the character of the family. His younger brothers miss him so much.

“He was their best friend as well as a brother. It is a family devastated by knife crime.”

After the verdict was delivered, it came to light that prior to Justin’s murder, Haig had assaulted an individual using a garden fork and had subsequently been apprehended while possessing a bladed weapon.

Moira Orr, head of homicide and major crime for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), said: “This case is tragic evidence of the destruction wreaked when young people carry bladed weapons.

“We must hope this sends a message to children and teenagers who may be tempted to carry knives. They risk causing calamitous and irreparable harm to others and to themselves.”

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