Scotland: Teen pleads guilty to killing gay barman
A teenager has admitted to the killing of gay barman Stuart Walker.
Ryan Esquierdo, 19, attacked Mr Walker, 28, and choked him to death having met one night while they were separately walking home in Cumnock, East Ayrshire, in October of last year.
Esquierdo confessed he had fallen into an “uncontrollable rage” after Mr Walker, who worked in a local hotel bar, had tried to comfort him after he admitted to being unsure about his sexuality – prior to that the pair had taken part in consensual sex.
The Guardian reported that Esquierdo had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder at the time of the attack, and that he had been abused as a child.
Therefore, the defence successfully argued for the lesser charge of culpable homicide, rather than of murder.
Glasgow High Court heard claims that Esquierdo found himself suffering “flashbacks” when he was with Mr Walker.
Andrew Brown QC, for the prosecution, said: “The deceased would have had no warning or sense of what was going to happen.”
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Esquierdo bit, punched, kicked and stamped on Mr Walker, who was of far greater build than his attacker.
He then strangled his victim for about four minutes until he was dead.
Derek Ogg QC, defending, said the killing was “not a gay hate crime” and was instead “far more complex than that”.
A large group of Mr Walker’s family and friends were present in court and the victim was described as a “well-liked figure”.
Esquierdo is due to be sentenced next month.