A MAN who murdered a Midlothian teenager in an attack last year has been convicted.
Brian McHale (21), was today found guilty of the murder of 17-year-old Dale Bennett, following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Dale, from Mayfield, was stabbed in a disturbance that happened in Newbyres Crescent in Gorebridge in the early hours of Saturday, February 12.
He had been in the area with friends when a confrontation took place and he was stabbed in the chest. He was rushed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, but despite the best efforts of medical staff, he succumbed to his injuries.
Detective Inspector Jim Robertson, who led the murder investigation, welcomed today’s guilty verdict.
He said: “My thoughts are first and foremost with Dale Bennett’s family, who have carried themselves with a huge amount of dignity during what has been a harrowing ordeal for them.
“It is my sincere hope that they can draw some comfort from the conviction of Brian McHale, who has expressed no remorse for Dale’s death, and who despite the weight of evidence gathered against him, chose to put the family through the ordeal of sitting through a trial by pleading not guilty.”
DI Robertson added: “This was a crime that shocked the local community, and from the outset of this investigation the community rallied round and provided us with information and assistance that was crucial in helping to bring this case to court.
“Dale’s death was a tragedy that could have been avoided were it not for the senseless decision of one individual to use a knife, and this case once again highlights the tragic consequences that can occur when someone chooses to carry a knife.
“Lothian and Borders Police is committed to reducing knife crime through pro-active and targeted action in communities throughout the Force area.
“Through our strategy of prevention and enforcement, we will continue our efforts to remove dangerous weapons from our streets.
“When someone is found in possession of a knife, they will be dealt with robustly, and can expect to be arrested to appear at court the following day.”