A man who killed his 10-year-old son to take him “away from evil” was given more than £1,100 in public money to get legal advice.
Information provided to the Tele by the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) shows Coupar Angus dad Karl Morris, 40, received a four-figure sum from the Scottish Legal Aid Board for counsel as his case was heard in court.
Morris admitted killing his son Kane, and attempting to murder an eight-year-old girl in a “frenzied” attack at his flat in Union Street in the Perthshire town on November 11 last year.
The farmhand had then stabbed himself several times before leaping from a third-floor window and crawling into the road in an apparent bid to end his life.
The 39-year-old admitted a plea of culpable homicide, reduced from murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
The total amount of aid Morris received is likely to rise. Requests for legal aid can be made up to four months after a case is concluded.
The board said: “The figures provided above are unlikely to be the final case costs as accounts
prepared in respect of fees and outlays allowable to solicitors and fees allowable to
counsel can be submitted to SLAB not later than four months after the date of
conclusion of the proceedings in respect of which that legal aid was granted.”
SLAB records show the killer was provided with £253.92 of funding for “legal assistance and advice” on December 10 last year prior to his trial commencing.
He was then provided with £540 of criminal legal aid in relation to his trial on July 12 this year – four weeks after he appeared in court to admit his crimes – followed by £126.90 on July 24 and £184 on August 23.
Judge Lord Mulholland heard that Morris had sought to take the children “away from evil” following a phone call which unsettled him and convinced him they were in danger.
He stabbed his son six times and stabbed the young girl, who cannot be identified, in the lung. She survived the assault.
A spokesman for the Scottish Legal Aid Board said: “When assessing an applicant’s eligibility for legal aid we look at their financial position at the time of their application to ensure they meet tests set by the Scottish Parliament.
“The legal aid costs for criminal cases in the high court vary depending on their nature, length and complexity. Payment for the preparation and conduct of a case is subject to the scrutiny of our accounts department.”
Morris’s payments pale in comparison to others handed out to convicted killers. Dundee man Arran Fender was given £43,729.28 in legal aid after stabbing Gary McMillan to death in May 2017.