Man jailed for murder after luring former teacher to flat using dating app

A man has been sentenced to a minimum of 22 years in jail for the murder of a former Fettes College biology teacher in a catfishing plot.

Paul McNaughton admitted to luring 75-year-old Peter Coshan to a flat in Leith using a fake profile on a gay dating app in August 2022 before killing him.

McNaughton, along with his 65-year-old flatmate Paul Black, then concealed the body for days before dumping it in a layby in Northumberland.

The 29-year-old was sentenced to life imprisonment at Glasgow High Court on Monday.

Black, who was cleared of murder by a jury at Edinburgh High Court, was sentenced to a minimum of five and a half years in jail after he admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice.

McNaughton first met the retired biology teacher online in 2021 and began to steal tens of thousands of pounds from him after gaining access to his bank accounts.

Earlier, the court heard this included £38,000 in September 2021 and a further £32,000 in June the following year.

When Mr Coshan found out about the thefts, he threatened to go to the police unless McNaughton provided him with free sexual favours.

McNaughton then hatched a plot to kill the retired teacher after becoming "fed up" with the situation.

Following the killing, which happened on either 11 or 12 August 2022, the pair hid the body under a bed while they went to a fun fair at Burntisland in Fife and went on a spending spree with Mr Coshan's bank cards.

On about 15 August, they put the body in a suitcase and drove it to a layby on the A696 between Otterburn and Belsay, dumping it next to a wall.

McNaughton, who admitted murder and attempting to pervert the course of justice in 2023 before Black's trial, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 22 years.

McNaughton and Black showed no emotion as they were led out of the dock in handcuffs.

Judge Lord Scott said it was made "clear" to him during Black's trial Mr Coshan was "a loved brother, uncle and friend" to those who knew him.

Mr Coshan had been diagnosed with Parkinson's in his latter years, the judge added, and said McNaughton "exploited" the former teacher's health before he "decided he must die".

"Having exploited Peter Coshan in life, you continued to do so in his death," he told McNaughton.

"His family did not know and may never know what happened in their loved one's final moments."

Read more:
Handguns hidden in children's underwear drawer
Man in hospital after incident involving dog

Mr Coshan's family said they are "horrified" anybody could have "treated a vulnerable 75-year-old in such a despicable manner".

In a statement issued through police at the end of the trial, they said: "Our life will never be the same and we will always ask the question, what if?

"There is, of course, no answer to what if, as events have overtaken us and there is no going back in time.

"However, we have happy memories of Peter and can reflect on the positive impact he had on so many people's lives."