HMA v KEIRYN NISBET.

At the High Court in Glasgow Judge Ritchie sentenced Kieryn Nibet to life imprisonent with a punishement part of 18 years after he was found guilty of the murder of Ronnie Simpson

On sentencing Judge Ritchie made the following statement in court:

“After trial you were convicted of the murder of Robert Samuel Simpson, known to his friends and family as Ronnie. He was a slightly built man of 67 years and was frail and in poor health.

On the evening of Friday, 5 October 2012 Ronnie Simpson was alone at home quietly watching television. As was his habit the door to his upstairs flat had been left unlocked.

The prosecution theory was that you entered Mr Simpson’s house in the drunken belief that it was the house of your former girlfriend.

It may never be known precisely why you chose to enter his home that night but enter it you did.

For no known reason you assaulted Mr Simpson by repeatedly punching and kicking him and stamping on his head and body. You inflicted a substantial number of forceful blows to his head and body and dragged him across the room.

Mr Simpson sustained a large number of injuries to his head but the fatal injuries were to his body. He sustained multiple fractures to his ribs. His ability to breathe was compromised. Your brutal and senseless attack left Mr Simpson bloodied and dying on the floor of his living room.

Neighbours downstairs heard the disturbance and contacted the police. Police officers attended promptly only to find that Mr Simpson’s house and the house of the downstairs neighbours were in darkness. The police officers received no response at Mr Simpson’s door. As there was no continuing disturbance the officers left.

It appears that you were still in Mr Simpson’s home at that time. You did not get help for him. He either died in front of you or you left him to die slowly on his own.

The case against you was overwhelming. Many witnesses spoke of your complete intoxication and your aggressive behaviour earlier.

Your movements to and from the vicinity of Mr Simpson’s home at the time of his death were tracked by way of street cameras.

Witnesses saw you in the area shortly after Mr Simpson must have succumbed to his injuries.

You met others later that night and tried to gain access to a nightclub and ended up at a house party. There was no distress or remorse exhibited by you. You claimed to have been fighting with other persons who testified in court that was not true.  Later you confessed to friends that you were responsible for Mr Simpson’s death.

In a statement to the police, one which was not challenged in the trial, you told the police you had never been in Mr Simpson’s flat.

However, your palm and fingerprint impressions were found, in highly incriminating places, in Mr Simpson’s flat. There were forensic links between the scene of the crime and your hooded top and your shoes.

You elected not to give evidence which of course is your right.

From the conduct of your defence it was plain that you had no answer to the forensic evidence.

However, you instructed your lawyers to blame three other people for Mr Simpson’s death and thereby pointed the finger of suspicion at persons, some close to Mr Simpson, when there was no real evidence against any of them. The fact that these allegations were unfounded will not be reflected in sentence.

Your criminal record does you no favours. It is indicative of an individual with violent tendencies and little consideration for others.

At the time of Mr Simpson’s murder you were subject to bail conditions having been granted bail on two occasions in the preceding two months.

The social work report advises me that after Mr Simpson’s murder you were convicted, on indictment, of assault to permanent disfigurement and you await sentence for that.

You told the social worker who has prepared the report now before me that on the day in question in addition to drinking a substantial quantity of alcohol over a period of approximately ten hours you took diazepam and cocaine. You have no recollection of events after leaving the bar. That is not difficult to comprehend.

You find it difficult to comprehend that you acted in such a barbarous fashion towards Mr Simpson.  However, an absence of memory on your part because of intoxication, of course, does not mean that you did not behave in that barbarous fashion.

I have taken into account the points made in mitigation on your behalf.

From your record of offending and from the nature of this horrific and sustained attack on a defenceless, elderly man in his own home I have concluded that you are a violent young man who presents a considerable danger to the public.

The sentence for the crime of murder is a mandatory one, that of life imprisonment and I impose that now. Sentence is backdated to 22 October 2012.

It is my function to determine the punishment part of that sentence which has to be served before you are eligible to apply for parole.

In all of the circumstances I consider that the appropriate period is one of 18 years”.