Ex soldier, 70, jailed for 17 years after murdering elderly man he believed was abuser

A former soldier has been jailed for a minimum of 17 years for the murder of a man he believed had abused a woman he knew.

Richard Cassidy, 70, was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow in June of the murder of a 75 year-old at his home in the Scottish Borders in February 2016.

Judge Lord Summers described the murder as "particularly brutal" with 14 stab wounds inflicted on the victim.

Defence lawyer Brian McConnachie QC said the killing was a "moment of madness", but he described the circumstances as "unique".

Cassidy had been told the man had sexually abused a woman over a long period. His defence lawyer said he went to the man’s home and "befriended" him in the hope of hearing a confession rather than planning to kill him.

Lord Summers said Cassidy showed premeditation on the day of the attack, and referred to a social work report that found he had received Special Forces training while in the Army on how to infiltrate groups by befriending them.

No charges had been brought against the murdered man.

The court heard that after the murder, Cassidy himself contacted the police and handed himself in.

Mr McConnachie said most people found it "hard to understand" the 70-year-old would be capable of murder.

The defence lawyer said: "He had never been in trouble in his life before this incident.

"He lived a fulfilling life until what he describes as a moment of madness in February 2016."

Cassidy is said to be in poor health and has suffered a heart attack and stroke while in custody.

Lord Summers told the court he took into account Cassidy’s lack of previous convictions and what he had reportedly been told about Mr Farish as he passed a life sentence with a minimum term of 17 years in jail.

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Police Scotland described the case as a "particularly heinous murder of a frail, elderly man in his own home".

Detective Inspector David Pinkney said: "Information we received from the community was crucial in bringing Cassidy to justice.

"Although this sentence will not reverse his cruel actions, I do hope it will bring some measure of resolution for the dead man’s family."


KEYWORDS: Court, Scotland

 

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