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9 May 2016, 13:29
A man who stabbed his flatmate in the heart after claiming she refused to have sex with him has been jailed for a minimum of 17 years for her murder.
Gary Stevenson killed 25-year-old Katy Rourke at the flat they shared in Govan, Glasgow, in December last year after the pair had been drinking.
The 27-year-old ``totally lost control'' and repeatedly punched Ms Rourke, originally from Broughty Ferry near Dundee, before getting a kitchen knife and stabbing her three times.
He pleaded guilty to the murder last month and the case had been continued for background reports.
Jailing him for life at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday, judge Lady Rae said he should reflect on having "needlessly and brutally'' taken Ms Rourke's life.
During last month's hearing, the court was told Stevenson had drank half a bottle of Buckfast before he and Ms Rourke shared a bottle of vodka on the night of December 29.
Stevenson said they had sex but when Ms Rourke refused to have sex again, as she had work in the morning, he attacked her.
He told investigators: "I lost control. I didn't think about the consequence of my actions. Once it started it just took off.''
A post-mortem examination revealed a stab wound to Ms Rourke's chest had gone through her heart and she had suffered bruising, cuts and blunt force trauma to the head and face.
Stevenson left a note in the flat saying he wanted to be cremated and travelled to North Berwick, East Lothian, where he attempted to take his own life, before calling police.
He later told officers he needed to face up to what he did and "give Katy's family justice''.
There was sobbing heard in the public gallery as Lady Rae passed sentence, telling Stevenson: "You killed Ms Rourke because she rejected your sexual advances and because she refused to engage in sexual intercourse.
"You were simply, on this occasion, not prepared to take no for an answer and you deliberately killed her.''
First offender Stevenson made a written statement to the court which was read on his behalf by his defence QC Donald Findlay.
In it he described himself as a "pressure cooker'' before the murder and said he deserved the ``long, dark road ahead''.
He added: "I know that nothing I say will ever bring Katy back or reverse what has happened but I feel that I owe it to everyone affected by this.''
He said he would go back and change what happened and swap places with Ms Rourke, who he described as a ``good person'', if he could.
"Katy did not deserve to die, she did nothing wrong, she had her whole life in front of her and I robbed her of that.
"I wish I would wake up and Katy was okay but it's not a dream, it's a wide awake living nightmare,'' he said.
Stevenson put forward what he described as his ``own interpretation'' of why the incident happened but said it was ``not an excuse''.
"The truth is that there is no single reason, no simple explanation, but the way I would describe it was that I was a pressure cooker and the pressure had been building for a long, long time,'' he said.
"The wheels were coming off in many areas of my personal life.''
Stevenson said he had been drinking alcohol every day in "an attempt to self-medicate'' instead of seeking help.
"Katy was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when I finally cracked, it was not her fault and I regret it so much every day.
"I deserve every second of the long, dark road which rises in front of me.''
Lady Rae said she noted with "some concern'' that a social work report had "detected no victim empathy or remorse'' on Stevenson's part.
She said: "I have listened carefully to Mr Findlay's very full submissions on your behalf, together with his quotation of words written by you, displaying, on the face of it, considerable remorse and regret for your actions and an appreciation of the extreme harm that you have caused.
"You should reflect on the fact that you have needlessly and brutally destroyed a young life and from my reading of the victim impact statements from Ms Rourke's parents and her sisters, you have devastated her family.''