Killer Richard Barnes dies in jail

A NOTORIOUS Galashiels killer who executed a man with his brother has died.

Richard Barnes passed away on Saturday at the age of 38, nine years after being convicted of murdering Daniel Thomas in his own home, along with Russell Barnes.

A prisoner at HMP Glenochil near Alloa, Richard Barnes’ death was described as “not unexpected” by a Scottish Prison Service insider, after he had been forced to attend hospital in recent weeks.

Richard Barnes was 30 years of age when he was sentenced in October 2003 to serve a minimum of 18 years of a life sentence before being considered for parole.

His younger sibling Russell, 22, at the time, was given the same jail term for his role in the killing, which took place in four months earlier at Mr Thomas’s Sanderson Court flat.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that the pair had wrongly believed Mr Thomas was a paedophile.

During the trial, prosecutor Andrew McMillan told Judge Roderick Macdonald: “There is not a shred of evidence to suggest he has ever acted improperly towards any youngster.”

The court heard the brothers turned on Mr Thomas after a night of drinking and used a six-inch kitchen blade to commit the frenzied attack in his living room.

Mr Thomas was stabbed a total of 50 times, and one blow went through his heart. Experts said wounds to the victim’s arms showed he had tried in vain to fight off the fatal blows.

Both had denied the murder but Russell confessed to the crime and Richard was found guilty by the jury.

After both were sentenced, Judge Macdonald told the pair: “When you got there [Mr Thomas’ flat] you carried out what can only be described as the premediated execution of an innocent man in his own home.

“The reason for this attack is that you thought – wrongly as it turned out – that he was a paedophile.”