By Kirsty Topping
A THUG stabbed a loving husband to death with a “Rambo-like sword” in an argument over a bar of chocolate.
William McPhee, 43, and his best friend Colin Stewart, 41, were left with horrific stab wound after the petty argument developed into a violent brawl, which left Mr McPhee dying in the stairwell of an Edinburgh high rise.
His widow Roseanne McPhee said the squabble broke out after the pair bought a small bar of chocolate instead of a big one for fellow drinker Chanelle Barrett.
During the argument Barrett called her boyfriend William McArdle, who inflicted the fatal blows.
Yesterday 25-year-old McArdle was convicted of Mr McPhee’s murder in January. Barrett, 19, was convicted of assaulting Mr McPhee. Both were found guilty of the attempted murder of Colin Stewart, 41.
A tearful Rosanne, who is suffering from terminal cancer, said the trio had been drinking when Barrett decided she wanted a bar of chocolate.
Barrett gave the pair £1 but when they returned with the chocolate, she said she had wanted a “big bar”, sparking an argument.
Roseanne, 39, said: “Chanelle gave Colin £1, but she didn’t feel they had bought her a big enough bar of chocolate. My Billy didn’t know Chanelle, they’d just met a couple of days before. He didn’t know what she was like.
“An argument kicked off and she said she was phoning her boyfriend. Billy was the kind of guy that got on with anybody, he didn’t do anything to deserve this.
“When they showed us the weapon they used in court, I nearly collapsed. I could only describe it as a Rambo-like sword and it had what looked like a knuckle-duster on the handle.”
Mrs McPhee, who suffers from Bartholin’s gland cancer, said she was still to scatter her husband’s ashes but hoped to hold a small gathering after the pair had been sentenced.
“My husband’s last words to one of the witnesses were ‘Tell my wife I love her’. I’ll always have that,” she said.
“I want to leave Edinburgh after this. I want to go back travelling to the north, but I won’t because Billy and I lived in this house. It was his castle.”
Talking of the sentencing, she said: “I’d lock them up and throw away the key. They’ve taken away my husband. I can never accept an apology from them.
“I saw McArdle looking at me in a weird way in court on the final day.
“I just looked straight back at him and called him a rat.”
Originally from Wick in the Highlands, Mr McPhee – who was also known as William Townsley – had lived at various addresses across the Capital.
He married his wife four years ago in South Queensferry and the couple had one child, a baby girl, who died of cot death aged just six months. He had two children from a previous relationship.
Detective Inspector Gary Cunningham said: “It is my sincere hope that the convictions will allow both Mr McPhee’s family and Mr Stewart to achieve some form of closure.”