Hawick murderer Dean Rippon locked up for at least 19 years

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A KILLER who could not bear to look at photos of the horrific injuries he inflicted on his victim has been jailed for life.

Dean Rippon, 20, will spend at least 19 years behind bars for the murder of 41-year-old Christopher Swailes in Hawick.

Drunken Rippon was 19 when he used what is believed to have been a filleting knife and a whisky bottle on his friend.

The High Court heard Mr Swailes suffered 14 stab and lacerations wounds as well as having the left side of his forehead mutilated.

He was murdered in his home in Hawick’s Liddesdale Road on November 13.

His body was found the next morning and Rippon was arrested at Selkirk Sheriff Court after spending the night in the cells on suspicion of shoplifting shortly after the killing.

Defence counsel Neil Murray QC told judge Lady Smith: “There is no excusing what he did. That is perfectly accepted by him.

“What he did seems to have taken the whole local community aback.”

And Mr Murray revealed that when photographs of the dead man were produced, Rippon could not look at them.

He added; “It is quite clear that he takes what he did to heart. The remorse he has articulated does seem to be genuine.”

Lady Smith said it was difficult to find words to adequately describe the awfulness of the crime.

She told Rippon: “Vicious, brutal and wicked seem inadequate.”

Rippon, formerly of Stonefield Place in Hawick, was told his minimum time in jail would have been 21 years had it not been for his guilty plea.