Man jailed for killing Thornliebank woman

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A MAN has been jailed for seven and a half years after killing his partner over a row about a baby.

Christopher O’Reilly (48), of Thornliebank, had been with his 31-year-old partner, Karen Gallagher, at a friends house in November 2010.

There was a baby present and O’Reilly requested to hold it but was refused.

He became angry when a similar request by Ms Gallagher was permitted and he was asked to leave the address.

The court was told that later on O’Reilly met a woman when he was walking Ms Gallagher’s dog and he told her he had killed his partner.

He told the woman: “I have just murdered Karen. I am not kidding”.

O’Reilly tipped a carrier bag and a knife fell out which he later put through a letterbox of a nearby property.

After being detained by police officers, O’Reilly claimed he had returned home to find a man lying face down on the floor.

He also claimed Ms Gallagher was in a chair and, on discovering she had been stabbed, the man escaped.

However, the knife that O’Reilly used to kill Ms Gallagher was later found and was heavily smeared with blood.

Originally charged with murder, O’Reilly pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The court heard that O’Reilly had a history of psychiatric problems and had been admitted to Hairmyres hospital six months before the killing due to his mental state.

Sentencing him, judge Lord Bannatyne told O’Reilly: “This is a very serious offence involving as it does the death of a young woman resulting from your use of a knife.

“Social workers say that in their opinion, you will pose a significant risk of harm to any future partners.

“Yuo have two previous convictions for crimes of violence”.

O’Reilly will also be supervised for four and a half years upon his release.