An amateur boxer who smashed a vodka bottle over a carer while punching and kicking him to death had no reason whatsoever to carry out the attack, police said today.
Nico Allan, 24, set about Mark Squires after he left a charity fundraiser in Longstone in October last year. Allan had denied murdering Mr Squires, 44, but was found guilty at Edinburgh High Court.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Pinkney said: “The brutal actions have resulted in the untimely death of Mark and the level of violence inflicted upon him was appalling.”
Allan attacked Mr Squires in a lane off Longstone Road beside a Hearts FC supporters club on October 22. His co-accused, Aiden Welsh, 25, was acquitted of the murder after a jury returned a not proven verdict.
A third man, Liam Tierney, 21, had also originally faced a murder charge, but was acquitted earlier during the trial.
Allan, who is from Edinburgh, repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on Mr Squire. He used such force that the carer’s head struck off a wall. Allan also smashed Mr Squire over the head with a glass vodka bottle.
DCI Pinkney said: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Mark at this difficult time.
“They have shown great courage throughout the investigation and the trial and they have had to listen to what their loved one went through that night.
“Mark was walking home with a friend after attending a charity night and we are aware that on the route home there was a verbal altercation involving a group of men, including Allan, and that this then moved into a physical altercation.
“While not involved in the physical altercation, Mark was in fact attempting to calm the situation down peacefully.
“It was at this point that Mark was assaulted and murdered by Allan in what was a senseless and unprovoked attack.”
Police and paramedics were called to a pathway next to the Longstone Inn about 1.30am to find Mr Squires clinging to life. He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where he died several hours later.
DCI Pinkney said: “I’d like to thank the local community for their co-operation throughout the course of our inquiries and reassure the public that Police Scotland is wholly committed to bringing these type of offenders to justice.”
Mr Squires was known as Squeak and was a carer for his elderly mother.
He had been at the charity night to raise money for another friend who died suddenly.
Lord Tyre told first offender Allan: “By the verdict of the jury you have been convicted of the murder of Mark Squires.
“The sentence for murder is a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.”
But the judge said he would also have to fix the length of the term the father-of-one must serve in jail before he becomes eligible to apply to parole authorities for release.
The judge called for a background report to be prepared on Allan ahead of sentencing next month and remanded him in custody.