by Grant McCabe 

A KILLER who stabbed a Johnstone man to death after an apparent row over a child’s tablet device is facing life behind bars.

Darren O’Neill brutally murdered Steven Quail, 42, at the victim’s home in February this year.

Mr Quail, who lived in the same street as O’Neill, suffered a total of 25 wounds during the frenzied attack.

O’Neill, 34, later confessed to his lover.

He now faces life behind bars after pleading guilty to a murder charge at the High Court in Glasgow today.

The court heard both men stayed near each other in Greenend Avenue.

O’Neill had a home with his partner and young daughter, while Mr Quail lived alone.

The killer knew the victim as “Quaily.”

In the early hours of February 25, Mr Quail’s neighbour heard “banging” and “rowdiness” coming from his flat.

Around 2am, O’Neill’s girlfriend, Keri McPhee, awoke to find him at the side of her bed and he claimed: “I’ve stabbed a guy.”

He went on to admit the man he attacked was Mr Quail.

Prosecutor Jo McDonald said: “He told her that ‘Quaily’ wanted to see their daughter’s computer tablet and that he was trying to take Ava’s tablet.”

O’Neill also later stated: “I don’t want to go to jail.”

The killer went on to text his friend Stephen Coutts, claiming it was an “emergency.”

O’Neill then turned up at his door and told him: “I need to speak to you – something happened last night and I ended up killing somebody.”

He was described as “calm” when he spoke to Mr Coutts.

O’Neill claimed he had stabbed Mr Quail “about 10 times.”

A friend of Mr Quail made the grim discovery of his body when she turned up at his home and the front door was lying open.

Miss McDonald said: “She found Steven Quail lying on his back on the floor in the hall.

“She noted that he was covered in blood. There was extensive blood staining in the hall.”

It was later discovered that Mr Quail had suffered 25 stab wounds.

Some of the injuries suggested “severe force” may have been used.

Police initially spoke with O’Neill days later as they tried to find a suspect.

He lied that he had been at home at the time but admitted he knew Mr Quail.

However, DNA later linked him to the killing – and officers also found the phone he used to text Mr Coutts.

Forensic officers spent days at the death scene, with colleagues carrying out door-to-door enquiries.

Detectives also reviewed footage from CCTV cameras covering the area.

O’Neill had been due to stand trial over Mr Quail's death.

However, today, he pleaded guilty to murder.

Judge Lady Scott deferred sentencing for reports until later this month.