Brother who sent pictures of dead sibling to ex-girlfriend after 'ferocious' Edinburgh attack sentenced

Loughton was arrested shortly after the attack

By Stephen Wilkie
Friday, 24th April 2020, 1:06 pm

A man who bludgeoned his sleeping brother to death in a “ferocious” attack and sent his ex-girlfriend pictures of his dead body, could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Steven Loughton, 31, attacked sibling Roddy, 26, in a flat in Edinburgh in December 2018.

He stood trial on a charge of murder but defence Donald Findlay QC led evidence at the High Court in Edinburgh which showed he was suffering from mental health problems and was of diminished responsibility at the time of the incident and he was convicted on the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

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Steven Loughton (right) says he “deeply regrets” killing his sibling Roddy (left) at a house in Edinburgh in December 2018.

During the trial it emerged that Loughton waited hours before raising the alarm about Roddy – and that he had suffered from mental health problems since he was in his twenties.

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During a phone call following the attack, Loughton claimed he had suffered a blackout and said: “They should never have released me from the Royal Edinburgh.”

Loughton’s former girlfriend Lisa Hamilton, 28, told jurors that he forwarded a mobile phone photograph of Roddy lying injured to her.

She said that he sent her a series of messages through social media seeking to speak to her.

In one message, Loughton said: “I’m in bits.” He then asked her if she was pregnant and she told him she was not.

He then told her that he had killed someone and asked her who his favourite family member was.

Miss Hamilton told the court that she did not believe what she was being told and Loughton sent her the picture of Roddy lying in the flat in Muirhouse Terrace.

During the messages between Loughton and Miss Hamilton, the court heard that she said: “I’m assuming Roddy isn’t dead and that you are just being a lying bam.”

She said she didn’t believe him and wasn’t expecting the picture she was sent.

She then replied: “FFS you are a monster.”

Miss Hamilton also said that Loughton had telephoned her and said that he had hit Roddy with a hammer and “kept going”.

She told the police: “I asked Steven to check Roddy’s pulse and he said that Roddy was cold.”

She told the court that she previously had been in a relationship with Steven Loughton during which he accused her of cheating on him with another man.

The witness added: “He accused me quite frequently of having relations with Roddy. Not just Roddy, he accused me of sleeping with people I have never met before.”

Jailing Loughton today, trial judge Lord Beckett made him the subject of an Order for Lifelong Restriction and ordered him to serve a minimum of 3 years an seven months before applying for parole.

But the judge warned: “It does not follow that you will then be released. You will only be released from prison when the Parole Board considers that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that you continue to be held in prison.”

Lord Beckett told Loughton that he would only be released under supervision of a criminal justice social worker and would be returned to custody if he broke the law.

He added: “However, you killed your brother using ferocious violence. At a time when I infer that he was lying asleep in your house you struck him on the head at least three times with a hammer, using considerable force causing serious injury from which he died shortly afterwards. It was a matter of hours before you alerted the emergency services, and only at a time when he was dead. Both your immediate and wider family have suffered terrible loss with enduring implications which you can well understand.

“I accept that you have shown remorse, visibly so during the trial. I take account of the episodes of mental illness and an enduring personality disorder which has afflicted you throughout your life and I note the adverse childhood experiences described in the reports.

“My concern is that what you did, the circumstances in which you did it and the implications of other evidence led in the trial suggested that you are likely to continue to present a substantial risk of causing serious harm to others. Accordingly, your conviction even for culpable homicide raises a real question of how the public is to be protected from the danger which you present.”