Man killed brother and sent ex-girlfriend photo of injured sibling after 'ferocious' Muirhouse hammer attack

A man who killed his younger brother sent his ex-girlfriend a photograph of his injured sibling after a 'ferocious" hammer attack in Muirhouse.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 3:23 pm
Updated Friday, 15th November 2019, 4:44 pm

Steven Loughton,30, was convicted on Friday of the culpable homicide of his 26-year-old sibling Roddy at a house in Edinburgh last December.

Loughton stood trial on a charge of murdering Roddy.

But his lawyer Donald Findlay QC led evidence which showed he was suffering from mental health problems and was of diminished responsibility at the time of the incident.

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Steven Loughton. Pic: Police Scotland

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Man convicted of killing brother in Muirhouse hammer attack

Mr Findlay also “agreed” with prosecutors that Roddy died as a consequence of being struck repeatedly on the head with a hammer by his client.

On Friday, judge Lord Beckett said that the jury had accepted that Loughton’s responsibility was diminished by a personality disorder which made him emotionally unstable.

He told Loughton he would be examined by court appointed social workers who would determine whether he met the requirements needed to impose an order for lifelong restriction.

Roddy Loughton.

Lord Beckett said: “You killed your brother using ferocious violence. It’s not inevitable that there will be an order for lifelong restriction - the court will consider all sentencing options.”

During proceedings, the court heard how Loughton attacked his brother sometime on December 16 and 17 at a flat in Muirhouse Terrace in Edinburgh.

Jurors heard that Loughton and Roddy were the “closest of friends” growing up. They had spent the day before Roddy died enjoying each other’s company.

However, Loughton attacked Roddy and caused his death.

The court heard from a psychiatrist that Loughton has difficulty controlling his emotions.

He had reported becoming depressed and anxious in his early 20s and had began to regularly self harm. He had been previously admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

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.”

Pic of brother sent to ex after attack

The court also heard from Loughton’s former girlfriend Lisa Hamilton, 28.

She told the court 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 on the morning of December 17 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 injured.

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 also 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.

She 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.”

Police statement

Detective Inspector Bruce Coutts, the senior investigating officer, said: “Our thoughts remain with Roddy Loughton’s family and friends at this difficult time.

“Violence has no place in society and we will continue to work alongside our partners to ensure that the perpetrators of violent crime are brought before the courts.”

Mental health problems

Following conviction, Mr Findlay urged Lord Beckett to treat his client with “compassion”.

He said that his client’s mental health problems shouldn’t automatically lead him to being assessed for an order for lifelong restriction.

He added: “Your lordship has heard of a man who through no fault of his own suffers from a personality disorder.

There are hundreds of people who suffer personality disorders to varying degrees.

“However, we do not lock them up solely for that reason.”

However, Lord Beckett said Loughton should be assessed to ascertain whether he met the criteria needed to impose an OLR.

Lord Beckett then thanked the jurors and told them they had been involved in a “very harrowing trial”.

He deferred sentence on Loughton and the case will next call at the High Court in Glasgow in February 2020.