A GREENOCK murderer who knifed a man to death in front of an 11-year-old girl has been allowed to stroll out of prison unaccompanied for a work placement.

Mark McGartland — jailed in 2007 for fatally stabbing James O’Donnell in Renfrew — was filmed leaving Barlinnie in Glasgow on his own.

A video posted on social media channel TikTok shows McGartland, 39, walking briskly from the prison with a small backpack strapped to his shoulders.

Asked by a man filming him if he's just been released, he explains that he is let out to go to work and is on his way to Glasgow's Duke Street.

Balding McGartland, wearing turquoise trainers, dark blue Nike jogging bottoms and a patterned North Face puffer jacket, goes on to state that he was jailed for 'murder' and is up for parole in January after serving more than 16 years in prison.

After being shown the clip by our sister title the Greenock Telegraph, former Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary and Greenock-born MSP Jamie Greene called for more 'consideration' of victims and their families with regard to when prisoners are allowed out to walk the streets alone. 

Glasgow Times: HMP Barlinnie

Former barman McGartland, who had previous convictions for carrying a knife and driving offences, was 23 when he was unanimously found guilty of murdering 21-year-old Mr O'Donnell.

He was ordered to serve a minimum of 14 years in prison for plunging a knife into the young man four times in a brutal attack, just yards away from a little girl.

Mr O'Donnell bled to death after one of the blows from McGartland's blade cut through a major artery.

In evidence, the traumatised girl who witnessed the killing told the High Court in Glasgow that there was a late-night fracas in October 2006 involving a number of people over McGartland and his friends causing a disturbance as they returned from a night spot.

The witness told the High Court trial: “Mark said something to James and then stabbed him with a knife twice in the stomach, once in the bottom and once on the back of the leg.”

Sentencing McGartland, judge Lord MacLean said: “You used a weapon, resulting in death.

“The victim had shown no aggression towards you.”

Mr O'Donnell's mother, Theresa, who was 62 at the time, said afterwards: "McGartland has given our family a life sentence. I've lost my only son.

"He was a lovely boy, so full of fun and hard working.

"My son hated violence and had never been in trouble of any sort during his entire life."

McGartland committed the murder at Brown Street — where Mr O'Donnell's girlfriend lived.

Defence counsel Ian Duguid QC said: "Mr McGartland has shown genuine remorse. It is a tragedy of huge proportions.

"His actions can only be explained by the huge amount of alcohol he consumed that night."

MSP Mr Greene said that it was important to notify victims and their family members when prisoners were being released for any length of time. 

He said: "My thoughts are with the family and loved ones of James O'Donnell, no doubt this situation has opened up old wounds for them.

"I don't oppose allowing prisoners to undertake monitored work experience, it is vital that prisoners can enter work upon their release to avoid reoffending.

"However, the welfare and safety of victims and their families should be the most important consideration when releasing a prisoner for any length of time.

"My own proposed Victim's Law focusses on overhauling the Victim Notification Scheme because the current system does not recognise the importance of informing victims of their offenders change in circumstances."

When shown the footage, a Scottish Prison Service spokesperson said: “We cannot comment on individuals.

“We are aware of this video and would ask the public to respect the privacy of our staff, and those in, or leaving, our care.”