Man jailed for killing friend in drugs row

Hugh McMahon
Hugh McMahon

A MAN who stabbed his friend to death during a row over drugs in a Lancaster flat has been given an indeterminate jail sentence.

Hugh McMahon was cleared by a jury of murder, but convicted of manslaughter. He must serve a minimum of six years and 363 days before the parole board can consider his case.

McMahon, from Morecambe, accepted that he caused a knife wound which penetrated the heart of 41-year-old Colin Wilson.

He claimed to the jury that his actions were in self-defence while trying to get Mr Wilson to back off.

McMahon, 42, had denied murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter over the death of Mr Wilson last November. He died following a single stab wound in the living room of a flat on Cawthorne Street in the city. McMahon was sentenced on Tuesday, by Judge Anthony Russell QC.

The unanimous verdicts, not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter, were delivered by a jury on Monday following a trial at Preston Crown Court.

McMahon had said in evidence that he had fallen asleep in the living room that evening and woke up to discover some of his drugs had gone.

An argument arose and he claimed that Mr Wilson threw a punch at him, but missed before making a rush at him. The defendant had grabbed hold of a knife from the coffee table. He told the court: “I just wanted him to back off.”

See the Lancaster Guardian (29-03-12) for full story.