Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Declan Robertson and Andrew Parfinowski guilty of murdering friend Brett Lodge

Andrew Parfinowski (L) and Declan Robertson (R)
Image caption Andrew Parfinowski and Declan Robertson will be sentenced next month

Two teenagers have been found guilty of murdering their 17-year-old friend with baseball bats, after an argument at a house party.

Brett Lodge was attacked by Declan Robertson, 17, and 18-year-old Andrew Parfinowski on a path in Edinburgh on 1 July, 2011.

The teenager, from Midlothian, suffered serious head injuries, and died in hospital nine days later.

Robertson and Parfinowski will be sentenced at a later date.

The two, both from Edinburgh, were remanded in custody and will appear at the High Court in Edinburgh on 6 December.

Mr Lodge's family paid tribute to the teenager, describing him as a "loving son, grandson and brother".

Police said the youngster suffered a vicious assault, inflicted by alcohol-fuelled individuals intent on causing harm.

Mr Lodge was attacked on a pathway after an argument at a party at a house on Edinburgh's Claverhouse Drive by Robertson and Parfinowski, who denied murder.

Following the verdict at the High Court in Edinburgh, Brett's mother Gillian Lodge said: "Brett was a happy boy with a cheeky sense of humour, who was kind, caring, and did his best to help others and cheer people up.

"He spent a great deal of time with his family, and was very popular with his friends.

"He was an active boy who loved sport and fitness, especially ice skating, and he loved trying new things like roller coasters and skiing, which he was lucky to do in the French Alps.

"He was a loving son, grandson and brother, who always listened to his sister's advice and always made time for his little brother."

She added: "Losing Brett in this way has been horrendous for our family, and has left a big hole in our hearts. It is still hard to believe he has gone, and harder still to know that his life was taken by people he trusted, and thought of as friends."

Det Ch Supt Gill Imery, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "Brett was subjected to a vicious and sustained assault inflicted by individuals who, fuelled by alcohol, were intent on causing him harm.

Image caption Brett Lodge died from his injuries on 9 July at the Western General Hospital

"Brett's death has had a huge impact on his family, and it is my sincere hope that today's convictions bring some comfort to them.

"At this time I would like to thank them for the assistance they provided police during the course of the investigation into Brett's murder, and to pay tribute to their courage and dignity during what has been a harrowing ordeal for them."

Edinburgh procurator fiscal Michelle Macleod, added: "This was an appalling act of violence against a young man by a group of teenagers.

"Brett Lodge was repeatedly punched, hit on the head and body with baseball bats, and kicked while he lay unconscious on the ground.

"He died nine days later in hospital having never recovered from the catastrophic brain injuries he suffered.

"I know the months since the murder have been an ordeal for his mother and family.

"I hope today's outcome will demonstrate that those who commit acts of violence will be brought to justice."

Another Edinburgh teenager who was accused of murder, 17-year-old Cameron McKail, was found guilty of assault, and will also be sentenced sentence on 6 December.

A fourth man, Bradley Lumsden, 17, from Prestonpans, East Lothian, was earlier cleared of murder when the charge against him was dropped.

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