A man who was jailed for murdering a young dad in a savage sword attack has been found dead in prison.
Alexander Touati, 47, who was found guilty of the murder of James Connelly in 2002, died at HMP Castle Huntly.
Mr Connelly died from massive blood loss after being struck in the back with a replica samurai sword.
Touati, of Marywell Gardens, Kirriemuir, and Russell Gilfillan, of Fife, were found guilty of murdering Mr Connelly on New Year’s Day in 2002 and jailed for life.
Touati had been released from prison after serving a nine-year sentence for raping a student and was staying in Whitfield when he committed the murder.
During the trial, the court heard that Touati’s house had become a drugs den.
Mr Connelly, who lived on the same street, had gone to Touati’s house on the night he was killed.
There was no suggestion that Mr Connelly took drugs although a friend who was with him was an addict.
Mr Connelly and Touati had argued and Mr Connelly and a friend both left the house and returned later with knives.
Another argument took place, and Mr Connelly was chased away from the property by a group of men carrying a range of weapons, including a sword and a hockey stick.
After slipping on ice, he curled himself up into a ball as he was attacked and stabbed with a miniature samurai sword – an incident witnessed by a 12-year-old girl who was out walking her dog.
The girl ran home and was followed by Touati and Gilfillan who both warned her not to say anything about what had happened.
Touati and Gilfillan were ordered by trial judge Lord Philip to serve 12 years in prison before they could apply for parole.
Gilfillan’s sentence was reduced to 11 years on appeal after it was found that there was no evidence he used the sword.
A statement from the Scottish Prison Service said: “Alexander Touati, 47, a prisoner at HMP Castle Huntly, has died. He was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow on October 11 2002.
“Police Scotland has been advised and the matter will be reported to the procurator fiscal.
“A fatal accident inquiry will be held in due course.”