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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Teenager admits killing her 69-year-old ‘best pal’

10-11-2010 Scotland:

Harry Smith suffered a haemorrhage after being repeatedly hit by Elaine Fleming.

A teenage girl who killed a pensioner in an attack at his home was heard saying: "I didn't want him to die, he was my best pal", a court has heard.

But underage drinker Elaine Fleming had earlier called her victim "a paedophile and a pervert" and shouted she was "going to kill the bastard".

Fleming, then aged 17, repeatedly punched Harry Smith in a fatal attack at his home in Mainsford Avenue, Drongan, in Ayrshire, on October 13 last year. The 69-year-old victim suffered a massive haemorrhage in his head and died later at hospital in Ayr.

Fleming, now 18, of Hannahston Avenue, Drongan, admitted the culpable homicide of Mr Smith, when she appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Defence counsel Mark Stewart QC said Fleming was "extremely upset" over being charged with causing the death of her friend. He said it was "an odd friendship" given their ages.

A judge agreed to continue the teenager's bail for a background report to be prepared on her before sentencing.

But Lord Kinclaven told Fleming: "You should be under no illusion a custodial sentence will be uppermost in the court's mind."

The court heard Mr Smith, a father-of-two, had lived alone since the death of his wife some years previously.

Advocate depute David Young QC said that following his wife's death Mr Smith had taken to drinking and allowed others into his house to drink, among them youngsters including Fleming.

Fleming had turned up at his house on the day of the fatal attack and began drinking. Two schoolgirls later arrived and found her lying in "a drunken stupor" on the sofa next to Mr Smith. They tried to wake her but failed.

Mr Young told the court the girls said Mr Smith put a hand inside Fleming's trousers and up her top. One girl said he had remarked "Do you want her awake?" but the other said he said he was looking for money and checked her pockets.

After Fleming woke she left the house with one of the girls who told her what had occurred.


Mr Young said: "This was the first that she was aware of anything happening. On hearing about the incident the accused said that she was going to go to his house to 'go off her head at him'."

The prosecutor said she later went back to Mr Smith's home and confronted him shouting and swearing, calling him a paedophile and a pervert and saying he had touched her when she was asleep.

He said Fleming went in and out of the house several times, including occasions when she was put out by others, but kept returning.

Mr Young said: "The commotion was overheard by several people who began to gather at the front driveway of the house.

"The accused was seen to be very irate and at one point she was heard to shout 'I'm going to kill the bastard', although this was said to be the sort of thing that she would say when in a temper. Witnesses described her as being very drunk," he said.

Fleming was seen punching the pensioner to the head. During the attack he sat on a couch and did not retaliate. Eventually his head slumped to the side but Fleming accused him of pretending to sleep. But others became concerned and an ambulance was called.

Mr Young said: "After the incident the accused remained at the scene and was described as being hysterical, at times rolling on the ground crying and screaming. She is reported as saying 'I didn't want him to die, he was my best pal' and 'I knew I hit him, but I didn't mean to do that'."

The assault victim was taken to Ayr Hospital where he was found to be unconscious and unresponsive and was placed on life support. A decision was later taken to switch off the ventilator.

Fleming was later interviewed by police and admitted hitting the deceased a couple of times, after being told he had been touching her, but said she thought it was to his shoulder and chest. ..Source.. by

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