POLICE investigating the brutal murder of a frail 67-year-old man in West Lothian have spoken of a “positive” response after a £5000 reward was put forward for information.
The body of Ronnie Simpson was discovered in Mayfield Drive, Armadale, on Saturday, October 6. He was the victim of a “brutal assault” and suffered serious head injuries.
Crimestoppers is offering up to £5000 for anyone who can help officers find and convict his killer or killers.
A team of around 40 officers is following a number of lines of inquiry, as well as continuing extensive door-to-door and CCTV inquiries.
Detective Superintendent Bob Cowper said: “The response to the Crimestoppers appeal has been very positive so far, however I must stress that the inquiry is still live and the reward is still available.
“I understand that, for whatever reason, it might be difficult for people to come forward to police and speak to us, but they might hold the vital piece of information that could lead us to Mr Simpson’s killer or killers.
“Please be assured that any information passed to Crimestoppers will be treated in complete anonymity and they will never disclose any personal details to police.”
Mr Simpson 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 added: “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 might be.”
The last confirmed sighting of Mr Simpson was at his home on Wednesday, although one neighbour said 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.
Over the weekend, the force ad trailer was also in the local area promoting the Crimestoppers telephone number and encouraging anyone with information to come forward.
Those with information relating to the murder are asked to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.