Daniel Haig, 18, faces life in prison
A teenager faces life behind bars for murdering a schoolboy at a railway station. Daniel Haig stabbed Justin McLaughlin, 14, in the heart on October 16, 2021, two days after the victim’s birthday. The dying schoolboy begged for his mum as friends rushed to help him on the platform at High Street Station in Glasgow.
Haig, 18, denied murder, but admitted to stabbing Justin, claiming he had only wanted to injure him after a fight at the station.
He was found guilty of murder on Thursday at the High Court in Glasgow and will be sentenced in August.
Jurors heard how Justin and his mates arrived at the station and spotted Haig with a friend.
Haig said to his pal: “All of them are running at us.” He told the court he took a knife out of his rucksack and concealed it inside his waistband.
His friend pleaded with him not to do anything stupid, but Haig ran at the group and a fight broke out on the platform, MailOnline reports.
After the fight, Haig jumped onto the track to grab the knife after he dropped it.
He then chased the group, with Justin tripping and falling over before Haig caught up with him and plunged the blade into him.
The thug threw the knife in a bin as he fled the station.
A 14-year-old friend described how Justin staggered and fell.
Tributes to Justin left outside the station
She said: “Justin was trying to stand up. He kept saying, ‘I need my mum… I need to go home’.”
“His lips had turned blue and white. The other boys were crying.”
Justin’s phone then rang as he lay stricken at the station with the witness telling the court: “It was like his mum or something.”
Haig told John Scullion KC that he kept the blade for his own protection, having been attacked the day before the murder.
Police officers outside High Street station in Glasgow after the attack
He said he feared Justin, who he didn’t know, and the others had been following him.
Haig had planned to use the weapon to scare them off. He admitted stabbing Justin but said he only meant to cause a minor injury.
Mr Scullion asked: “How do you feel that you killed Justin McLaughlin? His family are in the courtroom.”
Haig said he felt really bad about it and would like to apologise to the family, adding it was never his intention to kill anyone.
Prosecutor Steven Borthwick KC put to Haig that after the fight on the platform ended, he was under no threat.
Mr Borthwick said Haig instead took his knife from the railway tracks and pursued the group, adding: “You were intending on doing serious damage to one of them.”
To which Haig replied: “No.”
After the verdict, it emerged Haig had attacked a man with a garden fork and was later caught with a knife months before Justin was murdered.
Callum McDonald had been at a pub in Glasgow’s Baillieston before getting mixed up in a row with Haig on July 31, 2021.
He was assaulted with a garden fork or similar item, suffering cuts and bleeding. Two days later, and just yards from the High Court where he has been convicted of murder, Haig was seen on CCTV with a blade.
Mr Borthwick said Haig was searched at Glasgow Green and a blue knife was found.
Haig pleaded guilty to these charges before the murder trial, but it could not be reported until the end. He was remanded in custody.
The victim’s family said in a statement after the verdict: “Justin had his full life ahead of him. Our life will never be the same.
“He was the character of the family – his younger brothers miss him so much.
“He was their best friend as well as a brother. It is a family devastated by knife crime.”