At the High Court in Glasgow Judge Rita Rae QC sentenced Martin MacMaikain and Amanda Cook to life imprisonment after they have were convicted of the murder of Mark Donnelly on 26 May 2013 in Coatbridge

27 November 2013

On sentencing Judge Rae made the following statement in court:

“You have both been convicted of an appalling, and senseless killing.

Various words were used to describe what you did but in my view the terms “brutal and prolonged” go nowhere near truly reflecting what happened on 26 May.  The post mortem report makes disturbing reading.  There were in excess of 114 injuries, most of them recent and attributable to your joint attack during which you repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on Mark Donnelly.  Many of those injuries were inflicted while he was disabled and unable to defend himself.  There were a number of serious injuries but the worst was the complete shearing of the aorta in a manner which the pathologists had never seen before in this type of killing.  That in itself clearly reflects the severity of this attack.  After the attack you abandoned him to his fate although by that stage he was most probably already dead.  Then you carried on your drinking.

You have destroyed a young man’s life and you have caused immeasurable misery to his family and those close to him.

Despite this, you have in my view shown no real remorse whatsoever for your actions and that view was enhanced after hearing and observing you during your evidence.  You both tried to avoid responsibility for what you had done by blaming each other and you clearly changed your accounts in a fruitless attempt to fit in with the evidence led in the trial.  It would be extremely difficult to believe anything either of you said.  I wish to make clear for the benefit of the family I do not accept that Mark Donnelly tried to seriously sexually assault the second accused.  That was put forward simply to attempt to excuse your actions particularly you Martin MacMaikain who tried your best to blacken the character of Mr Donnelly both during your police interviews and at the trial.

I appreciate that you both have had difficult backgrounds but that cannot excuse what you did on the 26 May 2013. 

You must realise that, in respect of the murder charge, there is only one sentence which I can impose, although, I require to make an order setting what is called a punishment part, that is, the minimum period of time that you require to serve in prison to satisfy the requirements of retribution and deterrence.

The effect of this will be that you will not be eligible for parole or release until the punishment part has expired.  Thereafter it will be for the Parole Board and the Parole Board alone to consider whether you still present a risk to the public, or, whether you can be released on a life licence with appropriate conditions.  If you are still considered a serious risk, after the punishment part has expired, you will not be released. 

On charges 3 and 4 the attempt to pervert charges, the sentences will be 12 months on each. These periods will run concurrently with the punishment part that I am about to impose, all of which will be backdated to 29 May 2013.

On charge 2 the murder of Mark Donnelly the sentence for both of you will be the same.  You will each be sentenced to life imprisonment  and in view of your criminal records and  the brutality and nature of this attack the punishment part will be one of 20 years”.