Walking stick killer gets life

A SICK thug who murdered a 64-year-old man in a barbaric attack with a metal walking stick has been jailed for at least 20 years.

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Graeme McLaren, who skewered James Small with the walking aid at his flat in Weir Street, Greenock, leaving him with horrific internal injuries in June this year was jailed for life by Judge Rita Rae QC.

At his trial of the High Court in Glasgow McLaren sought to smear the character of his victim by making false sexual allegations about him.

Judge Rae told McLaren, 47, from Greenock: "You have been convicted unanimously of a most brutal and depraved attack on a defenceless elderly man.

"Not satisfied with this you set out to blacken his character with false allegations.

"This was inflicted in a most demeaning way and you put him in fear of being reported to the police for a wholly fabricated offence.

"Mr Simpson died in agony and alone. He must have been in excruciating pain.

"You have done your best to blacken the character of the deceased and made a serious, but false allegation against him and have shown no remorse."

Mr Simpson - who died days later in his flat - was horrifically assaulted by McLaren who then boasted and joked about what he had done.

On Monday a jury unanimously found McLaren guilty of murder.

During a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, McLaren denied attacking his neighbour.

He instead claimed someone else must have got hold of his walking stick which was found stained with the victim's blood.

The gruesome assault occurred at Mr Small's flat in Weir Street, Greenock, on June 5 this year.

The metal stick was rammed 12 inches into the helpless victim's body.

Mr Small suffered damage to his bowel and liver. The walking stick cut through his bowel and then went right through his liver.

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