Daniel Devlin (pictured above) was jailed for life with the minimum term of 17 years
A serial knife thug with nearly 70 previous convictions stabbed a stranger to death in the street after being freed early from jail.
Drug addict Daniel Devlin ‘callously’ murdered young father Dominic Brown in a savage attack after he confronted Devlin for loitering.
Devlin, 47, had been released early, having earlier flouted a supervision order for a previous blade crime.
A judge heard that 32-year-old Mr Brown and a friend had challenged Devlin, who was in Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, looking to buy heroin.
Mr Brown staggered to his own home after being stabbed but never recovered from a ‘catastrophic’ injury.
As Devlin was jailed for life with a minimum term of 17 years, there was anger last night that the thug had been freed early from prison four months before the murder.
Scottish Tory justice spokesman Liam Kerr said: ‘This is an individual who should never have been free to wander the streets. It’s another fatal example of the soft-touch justice system we have under the SNP.
‘He repeatedly proved himself unfit to be anywhere except prison, yet still he was able to commit this crime.’
Dominic Brown (pictured above) had confronted Devlin for going through his bins
In 2016 Devlin was locked up for possession of a knife and was then supervised for 12 months on his release. Devlin, who has 68 previous convictions, instead breached that order and was jailed for eight months.
But he was freed on April 13, 2018 – despite the term not expiring until August 14 of that year – and murdered Mr Brown on August 5. Mr Brown had been with a friend, Stephen Morgan, at the Cleddans pub in Clydebank, while Devlin and an associate were nearby, hoping to buy drugs.
Prosecutor Margaret Barron said Mr Brown, a joiner, did not know Devlin, but his friend was aware of him from the local area.
Miss Barron explained: ‘Mr Morgan had become aware of Devlin being nearby.
‘He and Mr Brown began to “pull him up” for hanging around the front of Mr Morgan’s house while under the influence. Mr Morgan was also annoyed with Devlin for going through bins.
‘Devlin responded to the remarks by giving them some cheek.’
The men challenged Devlin before Mr Brown went home, but Devlin returned to the flat of his wife Donna Marie Simpson, 39, and grabbed a knife, while Mr Brown headed back to the pub. Within around three minutes of leaving his home, Mr Brown was stabbed by Devlin. Miss Barron said CCTV showed the victim ‘clutching his right-hand side’.
The High Court in Glasgow (pictured above) yesterday heard claims that Mr Brown and his friend had spoken to Devlin in an ‘unpleasant way’ before the attack
Mr Brown was taken to hospital, but was pronounced dead later that evening. Devlin, of Garthamlock, Glasgow, made no comment after being held for the killing.
The High Court in Glasgow yesterday heard claims that Mr Brown and his friend had spoken to Devlin in an ‘unpleasant way’ before the attack.
Donald Findlay, QC, defending, said: ‘His whole life centred around satisfying his addiction. That is what he was doing on the day of these events.’
Lord Mulholland told Devlin the jail term would have been 18 years but for his guilty plea.
The judge added: ‘This was a young man – a son, a father and a brother. He was loved by his family and his life was callously taken by you.’
Miss Simpson had also faced the murder charge, but her not guilty plea was accepted.
Detective Chief Inspector Grant Macleod said: ‘The choices Devlin made that night highlights that the impact of those using knives ruins the lives of victims, perpetrators, their families and the communities they live in.’
A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘Sentencing is a matter for the court within the overall legal framework.’