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Murderers jailed after being convicted for second time

Ryan Gibb and Cameron Laurie were found guilty of the murder of James Chadwick.

Jailed: Laurie (left) and Gibb will each serve at least 18 years.
Jailed: Laurie (left) and Gibb will each serve at least 18 years.

Two murderers who kicked a man to death in his own home have been jailed for a minimum of 36 years, after being convicted of the killing for a second time.

Ryan Gibb and Cameron Laurie barged in to the Aberdeen home of James Chadwick, the former partner of Gibb's mother, and attacked him before leaving him for dead.

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.

Both have now been jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years before they can be considered for parole.

Victim: James Chadwick was attacked in his home.
Victim: James Chadwick was attacked in his home.

The trial was the second time Gibb and Laurie have been convicted of murdering Mr Chadwick, 37.

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.

On Thursday, a jury returned guilty verdicts against both men after deliberating over two days.

During the attack the pair brutally kicked and stamped on Mr Chadwick's head leaving him with horrific, unsurvivable injuries.

'We've been told he died because he was kicked and stamped on repeatedly.'
James Keegan QC

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."

But Keith Stewart QC, representing Gibb, said: "There's nothing to say the subdural haemorrhage was necessarily the result of kicking and stamping to the head.

"They simply can't rule out the possibility that the subdural haemorrhage was caused by something which occurred after the accused had left the flat."

And Brian McConnachie QC, representing Laurie, added: "It's rare perhaps that a case against a man depends so much on the evidence of one individual, and it's rarer still that that individual is the co-accused.

"Because the Crown, to a very, very significant degree depend on things that Ryan Gibb has said to people to present a case against Cameron Laurie, if you extract Ryan Gibb from the evidence against Cameron Laurie you're left, in my submission, with very little indeed.

"Ryan Gibb is desperate, desperate to tell everyone and anyone who will listen, and even people who don't want to listen, that he had nothing to do with it."

'You have been convicted of the brutal murder of a vulnerable man in his own home.'
Lord Burns

Gibb, 32, and Laurie, 33, both prisoners at HMP Grampian, were accused of murdering Mr Chadwick, at his flat in Holland Street, Aberdeen, by striking him on the face, punching him, repeatedly striking him with a dog lead or similar and also kicking and stamping on Mr Chadwick's head and body between August 31 and September 1 2015.

They also faced a further charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

A jury of five men and 10 women took five hours and 45 minutes to find both men guilty of murder by majority and of attempting to defeat the ends of justice unanimously.

Judge Lord Burns jailed both men for life with a minimum term of 18 years each before they can be considered for parole.

They were also handed five year jail terms to be served concurrently with their life sentences for the attempt to defeat the ends of justice charge.

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."

Police said Gibb and Laurie had never shown any remorse for their actions.

Detective Inspector Gary Winter of the Major Investigation Team said: "I welcome today's conviction of Gibb and Laurie - two men who have never shown any remorse for their brutal actions that night.

"Fuelled by alcohol they kicked, beat and stamped on James, inflicting fatal injuries.

"This outcome in court today cannot change the past, however I hope it gives his family some comfort in knowing the men who killed him will be behind bars. Our thoughts are with them today."

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