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Man Receives 18-Year Prison Sentence for Edinburgh Knife Murder Following Attack on Ex-Girlfriend

In a tragic incident stemming from a dispute over a former partner, a man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for the murder of a hotel porter.

Sam Atkins, 29, faced the High Court in Glasgow, where he admitted to murder and two counts of assaulting his ex-partner, Raehanna Cameron. The court heard that Atkins had become enraged after Cameron ended their relationship, resorting to violence against her and her friend, Charles Paul, who attempted to protect her.

The fatal attack occurred in March 2023, when Charles Paul, 69, was brutally stabbed at least 22 times in a flat located on Granton Crescent, Edinburgh. His tragic death marked a horrific climax to the confrontation.

Atkins’ relationship with Ms Cameron had begun in January 2022 but took a dark turn, making her feel unsafe in his presence. When she decided to terminate the relationship, Atkins reacted poorly, responding with violence towards her shortly before the fatal incident involving Mr. Paul.

Charles Paul, a night porter employed at Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield Hotel, had a connection to Ms Cameron through her late father. Following her father’s passing, Paul had vowed to protect and support her.

On the fateful day of the murder, Ms Cameron had placed Atkins’ belongings outside her flat. She later discovered Atkins in her hallway, armed with two knives, prompting her to lock herself in a bedroom to escape.

During the terrifying ordeal, Mr Paul attempted to reason with Atkins, encouraging him to calm down. In desperation, Ms. Cameron dialled 999, pleading for assistance. Police officers arrived at the scene as Atkins leapt from a second-floor window. Subsequently, he was located by a police dog nearby.

Upon entering the property, officers discovered Mr Paul unresponsive and surrounded by a pool of blood in one of the bedrooms. He had sustained a minimum of 22 stab wounds along with other injuries.

Ronnie Renucci KC, Atkins’ defence, asserted that his client had been under the influence at the time and had no recollection of the murder. Renucci added that Atkins had struggled to accept responsibility for his actions, failing to recognize the person who had committed these heinous crimes.

In delivering the sentence, Lord Clark ruled that Atkins would serve a minimum of 18 years in prison, with the parole board responsible for determining if and when he might be released.

The sentencing was welcomed by Police Scotland, with the hope that it would offer some closure to Charles Paul’s grieving family. Detective Chief Inspector George Calder stated, “These were despicable and callous acts carried out by Atkins, who showed an utter disregard for the life of Charles Paul or for the woman he seriously assaulted.”

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