a danger to any woman

Lynsey Methven's and Stewart Taylor's Chalmers Crescent home
Lynsey Methven's and Stewart Taylor's Chalmers Crescent home
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THE tragic couple terrorised by evil stalker Frank Moore did not report him to the police because they hoped he would give up and go away, it was revealed today.

Instead, Moore – who plagued his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend with threatening phone calls for weeks – would go on to carry out a “savage and depraved” murder because he could not bear to see Lynsey Methven with another man.

Stewart Taylor

Stewart Taylor

Detectives said that 43-year-old builder Moore had carried out “monstrous crimes” and was a danger to any woman he was in a relationship with.

Moore was yesterday found guilty by a jury of murdering chef Stewart Taylor, 33, and the attempted murder of Ms Methven, 30, at a flat in the Grange.

He went to extraordinary lengths to cover his tracks, creating alibis and burning the work boots he wore during the premeditated attack.

Moore drove his van to the building site near Edinburgh Airport where he worked straight after the murder, sneaking away to wash his overalls while acting “normally” with colleagues.

After being dumped by Ms Methven, Moore had repeatedly threatened his former girlfriend by phone, as well as shouting and swearing outside her mother’s house in Iona Street, before launching the savage attack at her Chalmers Crescent flat on February 7.

Detective Superintendent Allan Jones said the couple had not reported the stalking as they hoped Moore would eventually go away. He said: “This was a horrific attack on an innocent couple.

“They had hoped they would be able to get on with their lives and, with time passing, Moore would reconcile himself. Lynsey and Stewart had no idea of how dangerous, violent and calculating Moore could be.

“It was probably down to malicious jealousy, but only he knows the reason he carried out these monstrous crimes.”

Following his conviction, the court heard that Moore had a record of violent attacks dating back to 1988, including a charge of assault to severe injury. His record included assaults, making threatening phone calls and breaches of the peace, much of it “of a domestic nature” involving former partners or family members.

Det Supt Jones added: “This was a premeditated crime which took Lynsey and Stewart totally by surprise. It’s clear that he intended to kill both Stewart and Lynsey in my opinion. The way Moore approached this attack and orchestrated it, formulating alibis and then trying to cover his tracks by destroying evidence in the aftermath.”

On the morning of the murder, Moore made sure he was seen by plasterer Colin Breheny, 46, in their shared flat in Bothwell Street before his flatmate left for work at around 7am.

He then drove to the Chalmers Crescent area in his Citroen Berlingo van before bludgeoning chef Mr Taylor to death with an unknown weapon and attacking Ms Methven. A blaze in the flat, which Moore was cleared of starting, saw a 999 call summoning police and firefighters made at 8.20am.

The couple were found, partially clothed, but Mr Taylor, from Aberdeen, suffered a heart attack after being pulled from the ground-floor flat with a massive skull fracture and attempts to revive him failed.

Det Supt Jones said Moore then drove to his work near the airport in a bid to create a second alibi for himself.

He added: “In one of the biggest trawls of CCTV ever carried out in Edinburgh, we had dozens of officers looking at hundreds of cameras to pinpoint routes Moore could have taken. They were able to find his Citroen Berlingo at key points from the scene of the attack to his work.

“We focused on recovering as much evidence as possible because we didn’t have the witness testimony, as Lynsey was unable to remember anything.

“Within hours, it was clear that Moore was a suspect. His name was put forward to us and we were quickly able to focus on his movements. Moore tried to burn his work boots, which he had clearly worn at the time of the attack. We recovered the boots and clothing he had attempted to wash. He washed his overalls and even the leather belt he had been wearing.

“Moore tried to create the impression of going about a normal day.”

After two days in intensive care at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, bookies’ assistant Ms Methven woke to tell a nurse “It was Frank” or “It must have been Frank”.

She had lost the sight of her left eye and was deaf in one ear having suffered a fractured skull, and is now unable to walk unaided.

Judge Lord Pentland said Moore would be given a life sentence next month when background reports had been prepared.

In a statement, Mr Taylor’s family said: “Stewart will be greatly missed. We love him.”

amcewen@edinburghnews.com