A THUG who brutally battered a disabled man to death with a hammer has been given a life sentence.
Stephen Thomson will spend a minimum of 20 years in prison for murdering Peter Morgan, 60, in his flat in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, on November 19, 2021.
One of Mr Morgan’s fatal skull fractures was inflicted with such severe force that it resembled the type of traumatic injury normally seen after a car accident or a fall from great height.
The callous 26-year-old appeared to laugh when he was later arrested and claimed: “What is going on anyway? I was at my mate’s house.”
Callum Hiller, defending, told the High Court at Livingston that Thomson had given some kind of account of the crime to social workers, but it appeared to be only what he had heard from others during consultations or during his trial.
He added: “He has no memory and he’s just repeating what he’s been told.”
Passing sentence on Wednesday, Judge Lord Young told Thomson he hoped he would use his time in jail to reflect on the harm he had caused.
He said: “This was a savage attack in which you repeatedly struck Peter Morgan on the head with a hammer such that he died in hospital five days later.
“There were a number of aggravating factors to this murder, most significantly that Mr Morgan was an exceptionally vulnerable man who used a wheelchair for mobility and had difficulties with alcohol.
“The attack took place in his own home where he had an expectation of being safe.
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“You were heavily under the influence of alcohol and street drugs at the time you attacked him.
“Finally, there was a statutory aggravation because you were on bail at the time of the murder.”
Lord Young told Thomson that he’d read a victim impact statement from the deceased’s sister who described the happy times her brother had spent with his family and friends and expressed her disbelief at losing him to “such a senseless and violent attack”.
During his trial, the jury heard that the killer turned up unexpectedly at a woman’s home after the attack, still in possession of a hammer and with marks on his face.
She recalled he “went into the kitchen and made some pasta” before going to the bathroom for around 15 minutes.
Thomson was repeatedly told to leave. After he fled, police appeared and searched the flat.
The murder weapon was discovered hidden behind a toilet with a rucksack stashed next to a couch.
Thomson, who appeared in court via a video link, showed no emotion as his sentence was revealed.
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