Justin McLaughlin murder: Daniel Haig captured on CCTV holding knife moments before he stabbed 14-year-old boy at train station | UK News

A teenager has been pictured brandishing a knife which he used to stab a 14-year-old schoolboy to death just moments later.

Daniel Haig, 18, was also seen in other CCTV images arriving at Glasgow’s High Street station before the fatal attack and then fleeing the scene.

Haig has now been jailed for a minimum of 16 years after stabbing Justin McLaughlin in the heart and leaving him to die on a railway platform.

Just before, Haig had run at a group of youths, including Justin, and a clash broke out on a platform. After the scuffle ended, Haig jumped on to the track to retrieve the bladed weapon which he had dropped.

The killer inflicted the single fatal blow after Justin tripped and fell during a chase at the station in October 2021.

Justin, who had just celebrated his birthday two days earlier, pleaded for his mother as friends tried to come to his aid following the stabbing. He was taken to hospital but never recovered.

Haig, who was 16 at the time of the attack, admitted knifing Justin but had denied murder. Back in June he was found guilty following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

He was handed a life sentence with a minimum of 16 years behind bars at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

The judge said the murder had a “devastating effect” on the victim’s family.

Daniel Haig  stabbed Justin McLaughlin in the heart  in 2021
Pic:Police Scotland
Haig (L) stabbed Justin McLaughlin in the heart in 2021. Pic: Police Scotland

Lord Clark said: “They are left with the dreadful loss you have caused for the rest of their lives.”

The judge described it as a “brutal murder”.

He added: “Justin McLaughin was only 14, a child.

“And he was just getting back on his feet when you stabbed him. He was in a defenceless position.”

The trial heard Haig got into a scuffle with Justin and a group of his friends at the railway station on 16 October 2021.

Haig pulled a knife out of his rucksack and was seen on CCTV chasing the youths. He was also recorded jumping on to the track to retrieve the weapon after dropping it.

Lord Clark said: “They were all running some distance away from you, but Justin McLaughlin tripped and fell.

“You ran right up to him and as he was standing back up you stabbed him. The knife went right through his heart.”

The judge added it was “deeply disturbing” to see gang activity still happening in Scotland.

Daniel Haig arriving at Glasgow's High Street station. Pic: Crown Office
Haig arrives at Glasgow’s High Street station. Pic: Crown Office

Lord Clark said: “It has been going on for many decades. A boy with a knife attacking and killing another boy because he is from a different local scheme, and there is gang rivalry, is completely senseless.”

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Haig claimed he was carrying the blade for “protection” as he had been attacked a day earlier. He also said he had not intended to kill the Coatbridge teen and felt “really bad about it”.

Daniel Haig fleeing from Glasgow's High Street station after stabbing Justin McLaughlin. Pic: Crown Office
Haig was later seen on CCTV fleeing the scene. Pic: Crown Office

Killer ‘bitterly regrets his actions’

Defence counsel John Scullion KC said: “He now bitterly regrets his actions and the tragic consequences for the deceased and his family.”

Mr Scullion said Haig had “adverse childhood experiences during formative years” and by the time he was 16 he was regularly using drugs and alcohol.

The defence counsel said the case represented “a tragic waste of human life”.

Justin’s family said their lives would “never be the same”.

Victim was ‘blue-eyed boy”

Paying tribute to their “blue-eyed boy”, they said: “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.”

Following the verdict, it emerged that Haig had attacked a man with a garden fork and was later caught with a blade before Justin’s murder.

Moira Orr, head of homicide and major crime for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), said: “This case is tragic evidence of the destruction wreaked when young people carry bladed weapons.

“We must hope this sends a message to children and teenagers who may be tempted to carry knives. They risk causing calamitous and irreparable harm to others and to themselves.”