Ronnie Simpson murder: OAP ‘may have been dead’ when police called out

Police investigating the death of Ronnie Simpson question drivers
Police investigating the death of Ronnie Simpson question drivers
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A PENSIONER murdered in his own home may have already been dead when police officers called at his door the night before his body was found.

Ronnie Simpson, 67, was the victim of a brutal assault at the address in Mayfield Drive, Armadale, and was discovered by his daughter at just after 9pm last Saturday.

Officers had knocked on his door the previous night after being called to a disturbance, but left after no-one answered and there were no signs of trouble.

They returned to the address last night in an attempt to jog the memories of those who may have seen or heard something suspicious.

Ronnie, who walked with the aid of a stick and was described as “defenceless”, was found with serious head injuries.

His body was discovered less than 24 hours after his son, Ross, 31, was stabbed just ten miles away in Polbeth. Two men have appeared in court over that incident. Ross later claimed on Facebook that officers hadn’t tried hard enough to check on his dad after being called out last Friday night.

But Detective Superintendent Bob Cowper said: “Officers called at the premises after the disturbance was phoned in by a neighbour. They knocked at the door and received no response and there was no disturbance going on at that time, so they were stood down.

“It’s possible Mr Simpson was dead at that point but unfortunately we just do not know. It’s for this reason that we want to build up a clearer picture.

“We are looking to identify anyone in or passing through the area at the time of the disturbance who noticed anything unusual or has any information on who might be responsible for this, no matter how insignificant they think it is.”

A team of more than 40 officers is continuing to explore a number of lines of inquiry, including CCTV and door-to-door investigations.

Uniformed officers are also providing a highly visible presence in and around the area, while an advert appealing for help will be transported on a trailer throughout the town over the weekend.

After spending six hours at Mr Simpson’s home last night, Det Supt Cowper said: “There are no new developments just yet, but we had a good response from those we spoke with and engaged with on the streets.

“We didn’t get to speak with a vast volume of people, but in terms of key evidence it’s a case of quality not quantity.”

The last confirmed sighting of Mr Simpson was at his home on Wednesday, although one neighbour told the News he saw him the following day.

Mr Simpson was described by friends as a quiet man who enjoyed going to his local pub and bookmakers. They said he had enjoyed a £100 win on a horse in the days before he was murdered.

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com