Carer jailed for killing frail man over gambling row

Andrew Harvey killed Christopher Gilruth. Picture: Police Scotland
Andrew Harvey killed Christopher Gilruth. Picture: Police Scotland
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A CARER who killed a frail 53-year-old man after a row over gambling was today jailed for 52 months.

Chef Andrew Harvey, 34, battered gambling-addict Christopher Gilruth to death after hearing he had lost all the money put aside to pay the electricity bill for their Edinburgh home.

Harvey, who was Mr Gilruth’s carer, launched a violent attack causing 33 injuries to his face, head and body by punching.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that Harvey was immediately remorseful and police who arrive at the flat at Roseburn Terrace, Edinburgh, on 11 May 2014. found him trying to give CPR to Mr Gilruth.

Harvey, who was originally charged with murder, pled guilty to the reduced charge of culpable homicide.

He repeatedly punched Mr Gilruth who fell and struck his head.

Mr Gilruth had 33 injuries, mostly bruises and abrasions and some cuts. He also had extensive rib fractures, but they could have been caused during attempts at resuscitation.

The victim and Harvey referred to each other as “uncle” and “nephew” although they were not related.

Mr Gilruth had serious health problems and had emphysema.

Advocate depute Jim Keegan QC, prosecuting said: “He could have died from respiratory failure at any point.”

The prosecutor said Mr Gilruth was vulnerable because of his health issues and “far more likely to succumb to injuries that would not prove fatal in a healthy adult male”.

Defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC said: “There had been an argument over a few days about money. Mr Gilruth had gambled away money that was to be used to pay the electricity bill. “

Judge Lady Wolffe told Harvey: “Your victim was a much older man who was physically frail and to an extent dependent on you. I accept you are grief-ridden.”

She added that but for his early plea of guilty he would have been jailed for six years and six months.