The High Court in Glasgow today heard the pleas of two men accused of the murder of University of Glasgow student Reamonn Gormley. Daryn Maxwell, aged 23, admitted murdering the nineteen year old, after having his plea earlier in the year for culpable homicide rejected by the Crown office. Maxwell confessed that while masking his face he had attacked Reamonn, demanding money and the teenager’s phone before fatally stabbing him three times in the body and neck. Barry Smith, aged 19, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of culpable homicide.
Maxwell and Smith are also accused of threatening and robbing Reamonn’s friend, David McFall, with a chisel during the incident. The High Court heard that both men had an extensive criminal past and had been released on bail for other offences at the time of the attack in February earlier this year. Maxwell had previously been convicted for stabbing a victim in a similar incident while Smith had prior convictions for both assault and theft.
After the attack Mr McFall was able to carry Reamonn back to the Parkville Hotel where both men had previously watched the Aberdeen V Celtic game that day. As patrons of the pub attempted to save Reamonn’s life he begged them: “Please don’t let me die.” He later succumbed to his injuries at nearby Hairmyres Hospital.
A post-mortem found that Reamonn’s injuries would have been unsurvivable after his carotid artery – one of the body’s major vessels – was severed, causing him to die of blood loss.
In the days after Reamonn’s death, both friends and family organised a commemorative walk through his hometown of Blantyre paying tribute to his life with over 1,000 people gathering in support. Prior to studying Psychology at the University of Glasgow, Reamonn had volunteered with the Good Child Foundation teaching disabled children English in Thailand. Children who had been taught by the teenager recorded an online tribute version of the anthem Just Can’t Get Enough in his memory.
Celtic Football club also paid tribute to Mr Gormley who had spent two years at the Celtic Youth Academy.
Detective Chief Inspector Robbie Allan, the senior investigating officer for Strathclyde Police, said:
Reamonn was someone who had so much to offer in life. He had a very bright future ahead of him. On the night he was attacked, he had just enjoyed a night out with friends and was walking home in the community he was brought up in and where he felt safe. Daryn Maxwell and Barry Smith, motivated by nothing more than sheer greed, viciously attacked Reamonn and his friend with complete disregard for the consequences.
The Gormley family described their son as “a wonderful son and a loving and caring boy”.
On social media sites people touched by Reamonn’s life posted messages in honour of him. One read: “You live on because of your acts of kindness and commitment to others while you lived, you will never be forgotten.” Another simply said “RIP – Did not know you but watched you with the Thai Tims – you were a great lad.”