Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Life term for 'vicious and reckless' murder after Edinburgh fundraiser

Nico Allan Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Nico Allan was given life with a minimum of 12 years in jail

A man has been jailed for at least 12 years for the violent murder of a man after fundraiser in Edinburgh.

Nico Allan, 24, attacked Mark Squires, 44, in a lane off Longstone Road beside a Hearts FC supporters club on 22 October 2017.

Mr Squires, 44, suffered a cardiac arrest and died later at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Lord Tyre told Allan: "You committed an extremely violent attack which was both unnecessary and unprovoked."

At the High Court in Edinburgh, the judge said: "It remains a mystery to me how you, a man with no record of previous offending, committed an act of such vicious and reckless violence."

Lord Tyre pointed out that Allan had deprived Mr Squires of the remaining years of his life and his family of his love, companionship and support and not least his elderly mother whom he cared for.

Allan had denied murdering Mr Squires but was convicted in August.

Image copyright Police Scotland/Google
Image caption Mark Squires was found on a path next to the Longstone Inn

His co-accused Aiden Welsh, 25, was acquitted of the murder after a jury returned a not proven verdict.

A third man, Liam Tierney, 21, had also originally faced a murder charge but was acquitted earlier during the trial.

Allan was found guilty of repeatedly punching, kicking and stamping on Mr Squires's head, causing his head to strike off a wall and striking him on the head with a glass bottle.

Charity night

Mr Squires had earlier attended a fundraising event at the Longstone Hearts supporters club.

His long-term friend Charles Murray, 45, said: "This time we were doing a charity night for a friend."

"We had a friend who had suddenly passed away at the age of 48. We decided to try and raise some money for his family," he said.

Football memorabilia had been collected and a race night organised at the Hearts club where the two men had been drinking.

Mr Murray said that during the evening Mr Squires won a prize of cosmetics and added: "I think he was going to take it home to his mum."

At the end of the evening they realised no taxis were available and a decision was taken to head to a takeaway in Longstone Road to get food and order a cab.

Image caption The scene of the murder

But Mr Murray said a confrontation occurred with three men and told the court he was "grappling" with one and then found Mr Squires lying on the ground.

He said: "I said 'Come on Mark let's go. Let's get a car." He added that Mr Squires did not open his eyes and he began to panic and phoned for an ambulance and tried to give his friend CPR.

The court was told that Mr Squires was heard saying during the incident "Leave them alone. They are only young."

Allan was seen kicking into Mr Squires as he lay on the ground and his girlfriend, Katelyn Teesdale, screamed at him to stop and then checked that the victim had a pulse.

Advocate depute David Taylor said football style kicks had been aimed at the victim as he lay prone and defenceless.

Defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC said: "This was a brief episode lasting realistically little more, if at all, than 30 seconds. But it was 30 seconds in which Mr Squires lost his life and Allan has the rest of his life to regret and rue what happened."

Allan, 24, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 12 years in jail.

Det Ch Insp Dave Pinkney of the Major Investigation Team said: "We welcome the sentence today of Nico Allan and our thoughts and condolences remain with Mark's friends and family.

"The senseless and brutal actions of Allan caused horrific injuries to Mark that he was ultimately unable to recover from.

"Police Scotland is committed to tackling crimes of violence."

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