Two brutal murderers who kicked a man to death in his own home were yesterday jailed for a minimum of 36 years.
Ryan Gibb and Cameron Laurie barged in to the Aberdeen home of James Chadwick – the former partner of Gibb’s mother – and launched a savage attack on him before leaving him for dead.
Gibb’s mother Tracey had been in a relationship with Mr Chadwick for five years before the vicious attack.
During a two-and-a-half week trial the High Court in Aberdeen heard shoeprints found on Mr Chadwick’s face matched those of a pair of trainers worn by Gibb.
Meanwhile, Laurie’s DNA was found on the handle of a mop that had the victim’s blood on its head.
The trial was the second time Gibb and Laurie have been convicted of murdering Mr Chadwick.
Both were previously jailed for life after a trial in 2016 but appealed the verdict.
Appeal court judges ruled the trial judge had wrongly told the jury in the original trial that they could not convict the men of culpable homicide and quashed their convictions and sent it back for a retrial.
Yesterday a jury returned guilty verdicts against both men after deliberating over two days.
Early in the investigation Gibb told police that Laurie had battered Mr Chadwick up to 20 times with the dog lead during the murderous attack – though an allegation they used the lead in the brutal assault was removed by the jury.
The drunken thugs then brutally kicked and stamped on Mr Chadwick’s head leaving him with horrific, unsurvivable injuries.
Summing up the Crown case, advocate depute James Keegan QC told the jury: “Drunkenness, ladies and gentlemen, is not an excuse.
“In short they acted in such a way as to demonstrate a complete disregard for Mr Chadwick’s safety.
“We’ve been told he died because he was kicked and stamped on repeatedly.”
Judge Lord Burns jailed both men for life with a minimum term of 18 years each before they can be considered for parole.
He said: “You have been convicted of the brutal murder of a vulnerable man in his own home.
“The only sentence I can pass is one of life imprisonment.”