Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Teenagers beat pensioner Alasdair Forsyth to death with tools

Keirin McMillan Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Keirin McMillan said he had taken street valium before the attack

Three teenagers have been found guilty of murdering a pensioner by beating him with tools while high on drugs.

Keirin McMillan, 19, and two other boys who were 16 and 15 at the time, intended to rob Alasdair Forsyth at his home in Prestonfield, Edinburgh.

They left the 67-year-old with more than 100 injuries, including extensive rib fractures on 21 February this year.

The two younger boys were also found guilty of further attacks at a McDonalds days before the killing.

All three denied murdering Mr Forsyth, despite one of the teenagers saying "it was for money" and "we were all just out our nut" during a phone call recorded at a young offenders' institution.

'Pretty wasted'

A woman told the High Court in Edinburgh that McMillan had come to her house with tools in a bag before the attack.

She said he had repeatedly talked about there being money in books in Mr Forsyth's home.

She said the 16-year-old had returned to her home "pretty wasted" and she asked McMillan if he had given him tablets, but he just laughed.

McMillan said he had taken street valium before the murder, the court heard.

He had originally faced a further charge of supplying diazepam to the teenager, but it was withdrawn during the trial.

'Brutal, sustained attack'

The three went to Mr Forsyth's flat and repeatedly struck him on the head and body with a screwdriver, hammer and wrench, his walking stick and picture frames.

They also kicked and stamped on him and took his tablet and phone. Emergency services were alerted because of a disturbance.

The first police officers on the scene could hear "excited" male voices coming down the stairs before they met the three teenagers.

McMillan claimed the blood on his clothes was from a "nosebleed" and that he had intervened to help Mr Forsyth.

Meanwhile the youngest boy said to an officer: "Do you know who I am?" He later asked about his iPhone which he had lost.

Image caption The case was heard at the High Court in Edinburgh

Pathologists who examined Mr Forsyth concluded that his death was caused by severe chest trauma.

One of the youths, who is under 18 and cannot be named for legal reasons, was freed on bail at Edinburgh Sheriff Court the month before the attack.

Advocate depute Stewart Ronnie told jurors at the High Court in Edinburgh: "This was a brutal, sustained attack on a 67-year-old man in his own home, involving weapons and involving all three accused."

After hearing the jury's verdict, trial judge Lord Uist told the three: "You have each been convicted by the jury of a scandalous murder.

"The penalty for murder is fixed by law. In the case of you, Keirin McMillan, it will be that you will be detained in a young offenders' institution and liable to be detained for life."

He told the two younger killers that they would be detained without limit of time.

Det Insp Bob Campbell said that Mr Forsyth was a "well-respected" member of the community.

He added: "This was a horrendous attack on a vulnerable man in his own home. There could have been no justification for what they did, but our investigation did not find any clear motive for the attack on Alasdair.

"The three have shown no remorse whatsoever for his brutal and senseless death."

Sentencing was deferred until January for background reports.

All three youths were remanded in custody.

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