A vicious drug dealer will spend at least 20 years behind bars for the murder of a drunk man he came across in the street.
Father-of-two Darren Adie collapsed and died after being stabbed through the heart by thug Gordon Coventry in broad daylight in Kirkcaldy.
As the dying man staggered down the street after the fatal blow, Coventry began covering his guilt by disposing of clothing, mobile phones and the murder weapon, a knife, which he threw in the sea.
Coventry, a self-confessed drugs dealer with a violent past, was today found guilty of the murder at the High Court in Dunfermline.
Highlighting Coventry’s previous offences, advocate depute Tim Niven-Smith said the record showed he was “no stranger to the courts and has a propensity for violence”.
Judge Lord Uist told Coventry, “You have been convicted of the needless and unexplained murder by stabbing of Darren Adie, a 42-year-old drunk man staggering about certain streets in Kirkcaldy.”
The judge recalled the evidence that the victim sustained a wound six inches deep which broke a rib and pierced a lung and his heart.
“You’re obviously a career criminal and you are a dangerous man,” he added.
Lord Uist ordered that Coventry must serve at least 20 years and warned him that he would not be automatically released then but only when it is considered he no longer poses a risk to the public.
Coventry had told an acquaintance a few days before the stabbing that he was going to “do” Darren Adie and called him “a beast”.
However, Coventry, of Kirkcaldy, claimed in court the stabbing had been an accident, saying, “I was involved in a struggle and the knife entered his ribs in the struggle.”
Coventry said he then took the knife and left. He said Mr Adie also walked away and had “his hands up in the air shouting.”
Coventry said he went home and took off his clothing, which he later discarded in woodlands.
He admitted he also discarded one of his mobile phones that same night, others in the following days and had later thrown the knife into the sea at West Wemyss.
The court was shown CCTV video of Mr Adie, described as a “colourful local character”, staggering about the street outside a local shop around 20 minutes before he was stabbed.
Mr Niven-Smith had asked Coventry why he had discarded the knife, his clothes and his phones if it all had been accident.
“I was in a panic. Nobody would have believed me,” said Coventry.
He began his evidence by admitting he was a drug dealer who sold cannabis and Valium. He paid other people to rent out properties and set up cannabis farms.
Following the death of Mr Adie, Coventry admitted telling his former partner he had £44,000 he wanted her to have. When she asked if he had murdered Darren Adie he told her there would be no DNA evidence.
The jury found Coventry guilty of murdering Darren Adie on 28th May last year at Spey Avenue, near its junction with Napier Street, by striking him on the body with a knife.
The family of Mr Adie were relieved by the verdict and sentence.
Speaking of the impact on the family, the victim’s father John Adie said, “I don’t think it will ever go away. We’re old folk now anyway but our life will never be the same again.
“It was very hard to sit through it but Darren’s got justice. He was our son and he wasn’t like how he was painted in the court.”
On the sentence, Mr Adie said, “I wouldn’t matter even if there was still hanging and they hung him. It wouldn’t bring Darren back and it wouldn’t help us.”