NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Pair jailed for second time after kicking man to death in home

Ryan Gibb and Cameron Laurie Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Ryan Gibb and Cameron Laurie kicked James Chadwick to death

Two men who kicked a man to death in his own home have been jailed for a second time for the crime.

Ryan Gibb and Cameron Laurie will serve at least 18 years each after barging into the Aberdeen home of James Chadwick, battering him, then leaving him for dead.

Mr Chadwick was the former partner of Gibb's mother, Tracey.

A court heard shoeprints found on Mr Chadwick's face matched those of a pair of trainers worn by Gibb.

Meanwhile, Laurie's DNA was found on the handle of a mop that had the victim's blood on its head.

Both have now been jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years before they can be considered for parole.

The trial was the second time Gibb, 32, and Laurie, 33, have been convicted of murdering Mr Chadwick between 31 August and 1 September 2015.

Both were previously jailed for life after a trial in 2016 but appealed against the verdict.

Image caption James Chadwick was killed by two men

Appeal court judges ruled the trial judge had wrongly told the jury in the original trial that they could not convict the men of culpable homicide and quashed their convictions, sending it back for a retrial.

On Thursday a jury at the High Court in Aberdeen returned guilty verdicts against both men after deliberating over two days.

Early in the investigation Gibb told police that Laurie had battered Mr Chadwick up to 20 times with a dog lead during the murderous attack - though an allegation they used the lead in the brutal assault was removed.

The drunken thugs brutally kicked and stamped on Mr Chadwick's head at his home in Holland Street, Aberdeen, leaving him with unsurvivable injuries.

Summing up the Crown case, advocate depute James Keegan QC told the jury: "Drunkenness, ladies and gentlemen, is not an excuse.

"In short they acted in such a way as to demonstrate a complete disregard for Mr Chadwick's safety.

"We've been told he died because he was kicked and stamped on repeatedly."

'Kicking and stamping'

But Keith Stewart QC, representing Gibb, said: "There's nothing to say the subdural haemorrhage was necessarily the result of kicking and stamping to the head.

"They simply can't rule out the possibility that the subdural haemorrhage was caused by something which occurred after the accused had left the flat."

The pair also faced a further charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice for which they were given a concurrent sentence of five years.

Judge Lord Burns said: "You have been convicted of the brutal murder of a vulnerable man in his own home.

"The only sentence I can pass is one of life imprisonment."

Police Scotland welcomed the conviction.

Det Insp Gary Winter, of the major investigation team, said: "I welcome today's conviction of Gibb and Laurie - two men who have never shown any remorse for their brutal actions that night. Fuelled by alcohol they kicked, beat and stamped on James, inflicting fatal injuries.

"This outcome in court today cannot change the past, however I hope it gives his family some comfort in knowing the men who killed him will be behind bars. Our thoughts are with them today."

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