Gay barman's killer is jailed for 12 years

A TEENAGER who killed a gay barman trying to comfort him over his confused sexuality has been locked up for 12 years.

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As reported in later edition's of last night's Evening Times, Ryan Esquierdo strangled Stuart Walker and then torched the 28-year-old's body at a quiet industrial estate in Cumnock, Ayrshire, last October.

Esquierdo subjected Mr Walker to "extreme and explosive violence" after the pair had a consensual sexual encounter.

The 19-year-old – who had faced a murder allegation – yesterday returned to the dock after earlier admitting the culpable homicide of Mr Walker.

The reduced charge was accepted after it was claimed Esquierdo was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress at the time due to being abused as a child.

Judge Rita Rae QC said Mr Walker had been the victim of "a brutal and senseless killing".

Esquierdo showed no emotion as he was lead handcuffed to the cells.

Mr Walker's heartbroken aunt Linda Woods – joined by a large throng of the barman's relatives and friends – said no sentence would heal the family's torment.

She also blasted the decision by prosecutors to accept the guilty plea to the reduced charge.

Mrs Walker went on: "I don't know how it was not murder. He knew what he was doing.

"I don't know Esquierdo, but for someone to say that being abused as a child was the reason for what he did is shocking. He took this out on a person who would not hurt anyone.

"Stuart just did not deserve this – he was one of the nicest guys you could meet."

Under questioning, Esquierdo, of Menzies Avenue, Cumnock, told police: "I'll go to my grave saying I did not murder that man."

The court was told psychologists reports concluded it was accepted Esquierdo was suffering from diminished responsibility at the time of the attack.

Judge Rae told Esquierdo: "You have pleaded guilty to a brutal and senseless killing of a decent young man who appears to have attempted to show you only kindness and sympathy.

"It is patently obvious that you are capable of extreme violence."

Esquierdo will be supervised for a further five years after his release.

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