Christopher O'Reilly killed partner Karen Gallagher over baby row
Published: 25th May 2012 12:05:42
A man who killed his partner after a row about holding a baby has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.
Christopher O'Reilly, 48, stabbed 31-year-old Karen Gallagher in the heart at the flat they shared in Thornliebank, East Renfrewshire, in November 2010.
He was charged with murder but pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
O'Reilly will also be supervised for four-and-a-half years on his release.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that O'Reilly and Ms Gallagher were at a friend's home on 23 November 2010.
A baby was present and O'Reilly asked if he could he hold the child, but was told no.
Prosecutor Jennifer Bain said, however, Ms Gallagher's request was granted permission, which "angered" the accused.
Ms Bain added: "Due to his behaviour, he was asked to leave the property."
The court heard that O'Reilly later met a woman while walking Ms Gallagher's dog and told her: "I have just murdered Karen. I am not kidding."
He then tipped a carrier bag and a knife fell out.
O'Reilly then dropped the blade through a letterbox at a nearby property.
The father-of-five was later detained and claimed to officers that he had returned to his flat in Burnfield Road, Thornliebank, and discovered a man lying face down on the floor.
He then said Ms Gallagher was in a chair and he found that she had been stabbed before the male ran out.
O'Reilly claimed he was "totally innocent" regarding his partner's death.
The weapon used to kill Ms Gallagher - a large hunting knife - was recovered and found to be heavily blood smeared.
The court was told that O'Reilly had a "history of psychiatric difficulties".
He had been admitted to Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride six months prior to the killing in relation to mental health problems.
Jailing O'Reilly, judge Lord Bannatyne told him: "This was 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. You have two previous convictions for crimes of violence."
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Christopher O'Reilly killed partner Karen Gallagher over baby row. [Online] (Updated 25 May 2012)
Available at: http://www.glasgowwired.co.uk/news.php/1430943-Christopher-OReilly-killed-partner-Karen-Gallagher-over-baby-row [Accessed 17th May 2013]
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