A FRAIL pensioner was found murdered in a “particularly brutal attack”, the day after his son was stabbed in a nearby pub,
police have said.
The body of Robert Simpson, 67, who was also known as Ronnie, was found in his home in Armadale, West Lothian, on Saturday just after 9pm.
Lothian and Borders Police were called to the street at 10pm the previous night following
reports of a disturbance. They rang Mr Simpson’s doorbell but left after receiving no response and seeing nothing untoward.
The same evening, Mr Simpson’s son Ross was stabbed in a pub in nearby Polbeth. Neighbours said he was still in intensive care at hospital, but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Police are keeping an open mind about whether the incidents are linked, but it is “not a primary line of investigation”.
Two men, aged 28 and 24, have been arrested and charged with serious assault in connection with the stabbing of Ross Simpson. Police would not comment on whether they had spoken to the men in relation to the murder inquiry.
It is understood that Mr Simpson’s body was discovered on Saturday evening after he was visited by his daughter, Kay.
The last confirmed sighting of him was three days earlier, on Wednesday.
Neighbours have been horrified by the death of the retired plasterer. One said yesterday: “It’s really tragic. We used to see him walking down the street. He was quite a small, old guy and didn’t look like he would hurt a fly. I’m shocked that someone has been murdered on this street.”
Another neighbour, who lives just a few yards from Mr Simpson’s home, said: “I’m really shocked and saddened that old Ronnie has been killed.
“I have no idea what’s happened with Ronnie, but for an old man to be murdered in his own home is sick.”
Another resident said: “[It] isn’t a great area – we are forced to keep ourselves to ourselves so that we don’t get into bother.
“We rely on the police checking things and keeping us safe.”
Lothian and Borders Police described the murder victim as a particularly small, frail man who often walked with the assistance of a stick or crutch.
They say he would not have been able to defend himself against an assailant.
Detective Superintendent Bob Cowper said: “While the exact circumstances surrounding Mr Simpson’s death are still unclear, his injuries are consistent with a particularly brutal assault.
“Mr Simpson suffered from a number of health problems and he was a frail man.
“I would appeal to anyone with information on Mr Simpson’s whereabouts from last Wednesday to come forward to help us find the person or people responsible for his death.
“I would also appeal to anyone in the local community with any information, no matter how insignificant it might seem, to come forward immediately.”