Byline: By GORDON McILWRAITH
THE brother of crime boss Paul Ferris was yesterday jailed for life for the savage murder of an innocent teenage boy.
Sadistic Billy Ferris, 53, vowed vengeance on David Hutchison, 18, who had punched the thug's wife, Carol Anne, during a street row.
But in a case of mistaken identity, he savagely stabbed to death 15-year-old Jason Hutchison.
Jason was killed because he had the ``massive misfortune'' to look like his brother.
The horrific killing happened in the boy's darkened bedroom.
As he carved open the victim's face, Ferris calmly told him: ``Pay back time.''
And when he later realised he had got the wrong brother, the brute mockingly laughed: ``Better luck next time.''
Ferris, who has a previous conviction for murder, then set fire to the boy's mutilated body as well as the house.
After being convicted at the High Court in Edinburgh, he smirked at members of the Hutchison family who responded with taunts of ``animal''.
Lady Smith ordered that he should serve a minimum of 22 years before he is eligible to apply for parole.
She told him: ``The brutal nature of the killing displayed a callous disregard for human life.
``Jason Hutchison went to bed as a teenager who appears to have caused no problems to the family who loved him.
``He had plenty to live for but wasn't allowed to.
``Although he had done you no harm, you entered his home where he was sleeping and coldly and brutally attacked him with a knife, slashing and stabbing him.''
Ferris's pal, Lance McGuiness, 36, from Troon, Ayrshire, who was with himin the house at the time of the attack, was acquitted of the murder.
He described to police how he had found Ferris in the upstairs bedroom attacking the boy.
The senseless murder stemmed from an incident involving Mrs Ferris just yards from their home in Sophia Crescent, Irvine, Ayrshire, in July 2001.
A group of girls were celebrating a pal's birthday at a house in the street and when Mrs Ferris arrived she met David Hutchison outside.
He had been refused entry to the party and as anargument flared betweenthem, Hutchison punched her in the face.
A short time later, a raging Ferris arrived and demanded to know who had assaulted his wife.
He threatened to inject some of the girls with AIDS if they didn't reveal Hutchison's identity and where he lived.
One of them, Lynette Cushnaghan, 20, recalled: ``He said if we didn't tell him where David was he would get someone to inject us with AIDS.''
Despite the terrifying threat, nobody revealed where Hutchison lived.
But his parents were so concerned for their son's safety that they arranged for him to go to Tenerife for a few months.
When the teenager returned, he bumped into Mrs Ferris at an Irvine nightclub and was chillingly warned: ``It still isn't by and it isn't Billy that is taking to do with it, it's Paul Ferris.''
Billy Ferris's simmering grudge came to a head on February 5 this year.
Hutchison's little brother, Jason, was alone at his home in Paterson Avenue, Irvine, while his mum was working and his brother was out with friends.
Ferris and McGuiness had been drinking in Glasgow and when they returned to Irvine they stopped at theHutchison house. McGuiness claimed Ferris told him to wait downstairs and to steal some electrical items while he went up to a bedroom where he believed David was sleeping.
The theft was an attempt to make the fatal assault look like a housebreaking which had gone wrong.
Summing up, advocate depute John Beckett told the jury: ``Mrs Hutchison said that the two boys looked very similar. They probably looked even more similar in a darkened house.
``Jason Hutchison had been slashed viciously three times across the face, quite unnecessarily for someone who wanted tokill him, or more likely his brother, David. Do you draw any conclusion from the three slashes?
``Do you see there a bit of symmetry, a bit of an echo, with the injuries suffered by Carol Anne Ferris and vengeance is taken, tragically on the innocent brother.
``Jason's massive misfortune was to look like his brother David and live in the same house.''
Ferris set the boy's body and the house ablaze. Firemen who rushed to the scene found him lying on a bed in his Rangers top.
A post mortem examination thenrevealed that Jason had suffered 15 knife wounds, including deliberately disfiguring gashes to his cheek.
He died from stab wounds which pierced his heart and sliced through his aorta.
Detectives made a major breakthrough when they discovered a neighbour had set upa do-it-yourself security system to protect his camper van from vandals.
His CCTV camera included a soundtrack which recorded a distinctive ``growling'' car exhaust in the street three times on the night of the murder.
Expert engineer Robert Maunder ran a series of tests which proved the car was a Honda Accord estate the same type ofvehicle owned by Ferris's wife. And the day after the murder, an Oasis CD which had been stolen from Jason's home was found in Irvine.
It had been run over by a tyre and its tread pattern matched that of a Honda estate.
When police raided Ferris's home in Irvine, they found him hiding under a bed.
Forensic tests discovered Jason's blood in the car and also on the button of a jacket seized from Ferris's home.
Towards the end of the trial, the killer's brother, Paul Ferris, appeared in court with a burly skinhead minder.
But he didn't return for yesterday's verdict.