Mhari O’Neill, 15, was abandoned cold and alone by Ewan Fulton after he plied her with alcohol (Pictures: PA)
A man who killed a schoolgirl by plying her with alcohol and abandoning her in a remote beauty spot so he could catch his last train has been jailed.
Ewan Fulton, 20, bought vodka and cigarettes for 15-year-old Mhari O’Neill on the night of December 7, 2018.
The pair consumed them together at Calton Hill, Edinburgh, before Fulton ‘engaged in sexual activity’ with the intoxicated minor.
Fulton, then aged 18, left Miss O’Neill partially undressed alone in the cold and unable to seek help to get home.
He did not attempt to get help for her and instead rushed off to make his last train home from Waverley station, heard the High Court in Edinburgh.
Miss O’Neill was found dead by a dog walker the next morning.
A pathologist found hypothermia was the most likely cause of the teenager’s death, with intoxication playing a role.
‘Blunt force’ injuries were also found on her body but they could have been caused by her stumbling and did not cause her death, it was heard.
Miss O’Neill was found dead the following morning by a dog walker (Picture: PA)
Fulton, of Livingston, West Lothian, pled guilty to culpable homicide at the High Court in May.
He admitted recklessly putting Miss O’Neill at risk of death by giving her so much alcohol she became unable to look after herself.
Fulton also entered a number of not guilty pleas, including over unrelated sexual assault and assault incidents, which were accepted by the Crown.
Passing sentence on Thursday, judge Norman McFadyen told Fulton: ‘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.
‘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.
Fulton pled guilty to culpable homicide (Picture: PA)
‘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 was sentenced to 38 months in prison and placed on the sexual offenders’ register indefinitely.
It was heard that Fulton had carried out internet searches about suicidal thoughts following the incident.
Detective Inspector Susan Balfour, from Police Scotland, previously said she hoped Fulton’s conviction would bring ‘some comfort’ to Miss O’Neill’s loved ones following such a ‘distressing time’.
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