Man who left teenage girl to die on hill so he could catch last train home jailed for three years

Ewan Fulton Credit: PA

A man who killed a 15-year-old girl after plying her with alcohol and abandoning her on a hill to die has been sentenced to 38 months in prison.

Ewan Fulton, 20, pled guilty to culpable homicide at the High Court in Edinburgh in May.

The court heard how Fulton, of Livingston, West Lothian, had bought vodka and cigarettes for Mhari O’Neill, 15, on December 7, 2018, which they consumed together at Calton Hill in Edinburgh.

The 15-year-old was found dead at the beauty spot by a dog walker the next morning, with a pathologist finding the likely cause of death to be hypothermia with intoxication playing a role.

Fulton, then aged 18, left the teenager in a state of partial undress and unable to seek help as he wanted to get to Waverley train station before the last service home, the court had heard.

Sentencing Fulton at the same court on Thursday, judge Norman McFadyen told him: “You had no justification for believing that a severely intoxicated child could safely be abandoned in this remote part of Edinburgh on a cold, wet and windy night.

Fulton has been jailed for 38 months over the death of Mhari O’Neill, 15 Credit: Police Scotland/PA

“There were many things you could have done.

“You essentially did nothing for her, you panicked and left.

“There was nothing you could do without assistance and you were not willing to get any assistance for Mhari when she was at her most vulnerable.

“I accept that you bitterly regret what happened.

“I consider, because of the gravity of the offence, a custodial sentence is the only appropriate sentence.”

Fulton had previously admitted culpably and recklessly putting Mhari at risk of death by giving her the alcohol to an extent she became unable to look after herself, having engaged in sexual activity with her.

The charge states he did so with “utter disregard” for the consequences in which she died there and he “did kill her”.

The court was told Fulton did not seek assistance and abandoned Mhari in a remote location.

A number of not guilty pleas, including over unrelated sexual assault and assault incidents, were accepted by the Crown.

It was heard Fulton had carried out internet searches about suicidal thoughts following the incident.

The judge sentenced Fulton to 38 months in prison, backdated to May 24, and placed him on the sexual offenders register indefinitely.