Murderous stalker’s sentence delayed after he sacks legal team

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A STALKER whose obsession with his former lover led to murder could not be sentenced today because he has sacked his lawyers.

A trial heard how tattooed builder Frank Moore, 43, attacked Lynsey Methven and chef Stewart Taylor, the new man in her life, at her home in the Grange after a campaign of harassment which lasted for weeks.

Judge Lord Pentland had expected to pass sentence today but Gordon Jackson QC told him he had just taken over the case after Moore had sacked the legal team who acted for him during the trial.

Lord Pentland agreed that Mr Jackson needed more time to prepare and ordered a further hearing later this month. Moore will remain in custody until then.

The trial had heard the couple were found, partly clothed, after fire-fighters forced their way through choking smoke.

Dying Mr Taylor, 33, from Aberdeen, suffered a heart attack after being pulled from the ground-floor flat and attempts to revive him failed.

He had also suffered a massive skull fracture after being bludgeoned and beaten by furious Moore. The head injury alone - without the complication of inhaling smoke - would probably have been fatal, said medics.

After two days in intensive care at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, bookies’ assistant Ms Methven, 30, woke to tell a nurse: “It was Frank” or “It must have been Frank.”

She also found she had lost the sight of her left eye and was deaf in one ear. Her sense of balance has been affected so much that she can no longer walk without help.

“Every bone in my face was broken,” said Ms Methven, who also suffered a fractured skull.

Moore denied murder and attempted murder. He did not give evidence but lodged papers in court claiming he had an alibi for the crucial hour or so on the morning of February 7 when the couple were attacked and fire caught hold in Ms Methven’s Chalmers Crescent home.

A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh were twice sent home for the night without reaching verdicts.

But after more than 11 hours in their jury room they decided, by majority, that Moore of Bothwell Street, Edinburgh, was guilty.

They also found him guilty of bombarding Ms Methven with threatening telephone calls and shouting and swearing outside her mum’s house in Iona Street, Edinburgh.

Moore was further found guilty of stealing Mr Taylor’s phone, attempting to destroy evidence and possessing a stun gun at his flat.

Moore had originally been accused of deliberately starting the fire in the Chalmers Crescent flat, but the allegation was dropped after experts told the trial that the cause was a cushion smouldering because it was too near an electric fire.