Mum’s tribute to Macmerry murder victim

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The mother of a man murdered in East Lothian has paid tribute to her son, saying his death will leave “a huge hole”.

Detectives said 49-year-old Colin Armstrong suffered a “violent” death in a friend’s house in Greenmill Brae, Macmerry.

Police have cordoned off the property where Colin Armstrong, inset, was found stabbed to death. Picture: Jane Barlow

Police have cordoned off the property where Colin Armstrong, inset, was found stabbed to death. Picture: Jane Barlow

Locals described Mr Armstrong, who lived in the same street, as a “quiet, friendly” man who would always stop and speak to his neighbours.

His body was found at the property at around 1.20am yesterday.

Police said they were alerted to his death by the ambulance service, who had been first on the scene.

The incident happened on the same street where a 30-year-old man was seriously injured after being stabbed in September 2012.

The victim was named as Colin Armstrong. Pic: comp

The victim was named as Colin Armstrong. Pic: comp

It is understood that Mr Armstrong, who was originally from Musselburgh, lost his girlfriend last year. He did not have any children.

Dale Elliot, 28, who lives in the area, said of Mr Armstrong: “He’s not been in the village that long. Colin was an all right guy, he would talk to you all the time. He would always say hello to you. It’s just scary for something like this to happen. It’s very unusual.”

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s a real shame. He was a happy, chappy guy.”

And a neighbour of Mr Armstrong said: “He was a friendly guy. I didn’t expect it to be him.

“This area usually is quite quiet, apart from the stabbing and this. You don’t usually see the police, a lot of families live here. That’s why I moved here, to get away from it all.”

The area surrounding the property remained cordoned off yesterday while forensics experts gathered evidence.

Detectives could be seen knocking on doors while other officers guarded the scene.

Police said they were looking to trace an older, light-coloured Honda Civic or a similar-type vehicle which was spotted near the crime scene.

Detective Inspector Grant Johnston, of Police Scotland’s major investigation team, said: “This is a murder inquiry because of the circumstances in which the man has been found. This was a serious and violent crime.

“Our inquiries are at an early stage and we are trying to piece together the circumstances. He is a local man and had family in the local area.

“We are appealing for anyone who may have heard a disturbance or who may have any information regarding this crime to get in touch.

“I am appealing for anyone who was in this part of Macmerry and has any information about this incident, to contact Police Scotland immediately.

“I am particularly keen to speak to anyone who saw a car, possibly a Honda Civic or similar, in the Macmerry or Tranent areas of East Lothian any time overnight.”

Anyone who has information can call Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.