At the High Court in Glasgow Judge Beckett sentenced Barry McGrory to life imprisonment for the murder of Paul McGee in Lochwinnoch on 25 October 2009. The punishment part was fixed at 20 years.

On sentencing Judge Beckett made the following statement in court:

“You have been found guilty of murder and the punishment is fixed by law. You will be sentenced to life imprisonment.

I am obliged to fix a period of time which you must serve in custody before being considered for parole.

In fixing this period, known as a punishment part, I must reflect the need to punish you for the crime of murder and to deter you and others from committing murder. In fixing the punishment part of your sentence the law requires me to ignore the risk that you may pose to the public in the future.

This does not mean that you will serve just this period. It will be for the Parole Board to determine when it is safe for you to be released from prison. The question of parole cannot arise before the punishment period has passsed.

In fixing this period I am obliged to take account of the seriousness of the crime of  murder of which you have been convicted, and your record of previous convictions.

The infliction of the two stabbing injuries to the right side of the deceased, one of which penetrated his heart having travelled 18cm into his body, inflicted when the deceased was lying on the ground and defenceless from you, was a horrifying assault to carry out with the knife which you were later heard to describe as your baby.

Paul McGee, a brave and decent young man who served his country and his community lost his life for no reason whatsoever. His only mistake was to seek to protect a taxi driver who was getting assaulted by your friend. His loss has had a devastating effect on his mother and sister and his girlfriend and her family, both emotionally and in practical ways. His mother lost her job because of the effect on her of these events.

You left your victim bleeding in the street without summoning any assistance for him having inflicted fatal injuries with a large knife. This court has repeatedly made it clear what its response to such behaviour will be so that everyone understands what the consequences will be for  people who commit serious assaults and murder by using a knife.

I take account of your previous convictions and note that in 2001 you were convicted of assault and robbery albeit that you were not sent to prison for that. In 2003 you were convicted of possessing a knife in a public place. You did not learn your lesson.

In your favour I accept that you have not committed any crime of comparable gravity. I note your family circumstances. I take account of all of the points made on you behalf by Mr Moll.

Your previous convictions and in particular the element of premeditation you showed in calmly collecting a knife and then using it to inflict two terrible stab wounds render this a particularly serious crime. You have shown no remorse whatsoever for what you did.

Having regard to the whole circumstances, the punishment part will be one of 20 years. This period of 20 years is backdated to 27 October  2009 when you were remanded in custody.

This does not mean that this is a sentence of  20 years. You are sentenced to life imprisonment and you will serve at least  this period before you can be considered for release on parole. It will be for the Parole Board to determine when you will ultimately be released and they will have regard to the safety of the public in reaching that decision”.