A MAN is facing a life sentence after being convicted today of murdering a pensioner in his home.
Keiryn Nisbet, 22, assaulted defenceless Ronnie Simpson, 67, at his property in Mayfield Drive in Armadale, West Lothian on October 5 last year.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Nisbet entered Mr Simpson’s flat and repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped him on the head and body.
The drunken thug also struck Mr Simpson on the head with a blunt instrument and dragged him across the floor of his house.
Nisbet later sent a Facebook message to a friend saying that he had attacked a man but could not fully remember what he had done.
Nisbet spent the two-and-a-half week trial denying that he had murdered Mr Simpson.
But a jury returned a guilty verdict after spending three-and-a-half hours deliberating their decision.
After hearing how Nisbet had previously served time in prison, temporary judge Norman Ritchie QC deferred sentence on Nisbet for the court to obtain reports about his character.
Judge Ritchie added: “You have been convicted of a charge of murder. Sentence is now deferred until Friday October 13 at the High Court in Glasgow.”
During proceedings, the court heard how Nisbet, of St Paul’s Drive, Armadale, had spent the hours leading up to his attack drinking in the Blether Inn pub in the town.
He had been thrown out of the pub for being too drunk and for allegedly assaulting a barmaid. He then made his way to Mr Simpson’s house and subjected to the pensioner to a terrifying attack.
During the trial, one of Mr Simpson’s neighbours told the court that he had heard “an old man squealing” inside the murder victim’s house on the night Mr Simpson died.
Forensic scientists found blood from Nisbet on the bedroom wall of his victim’s house.
The court heard how police obtained the blood sample at Mr Simpson’s home and found a full DNA profile which matched that of Nisbet.
Forensic scientist Margaret McPhee told prosecution lawyer Ashley Edwards it was a more than one in a billion chance that the DNA match did not belong to Nisbet.
The court heard that Nisbet had sent a message on Facebook to a pal on the day the victim’s body was found.
Alexander Meechan, 24, told the court that Nisbet wrote a message to him following the attack. He said that he had “knocked f*** out of a boy last night” but “canny mind a thing”.
Prosecutors alleged that Nisbet attempted to avoid detection by washing a top and a pair of trainers that he wore during the incident.
After the verdict was returned, relatives of Nisbet wept. Members of Mr Simpson’s family - who sat opposite Nisbit’s supporters - shouted: “yes.”
Advocate Depute Ashley Edwards told the court that Nisbet had previous convictions for a number of offences. He was convicted of violence in 2009.
The court heard that he had previously served a prison sentence.
Speaking after the verdict, Detective Chief Inspector Robert Cowper, who led the investigation, said: “While nothing can undo the pain and suffering Mr Simpson’s loss has had on his family and the impact on the local community, I hope that today’s verdict can allow the family to move forward from this ordeal.
“Mr Simpson was a well known local and the attack within his own home was a callous act which Keiryn Nisbet has never offered any explanation for.”