Killers of man beaten to death in own home sentenced


THE FAMILY of a man beaten to death in his home said they will be ‘haunted’ forever by his death as the murderers were sentenced yesterday (Wed).

Aleksandr Podgornoi, 25, and Vladimir Jakovlev, 24, both received life sentences at the High Court in Livingston yesterday (Wed) for the murder of 41 year old Christopher McColm in Hawick in the Borders on April 2 last year.

Christopher, who had health problems, was admitted to hospital with multiple injuries to his head and body following the attack which took place in his home.

Podgornoi and Jakovlev lived in the same block of flats as Christopher and they had been drinking on the day of the murder which took place a 4.30pm.

Police were called to the scene after neighbours were roused by the noise of the assault.  The murderers were arrested nearby.

Christopher was taken to Borders General Hospital, then transferred to for treatment, but he died the following day.

Following the result of the sentence, Christopher’s family said they remained shocked at the lack of remorse shown by the killers.

His brother Colin Turnbull said in a statement: “Although the evidence against these two murderers was overwhelming, they still chose to plead not guilty, forcing our family to endure the ordeal of sitting for three weeks through a trial with evidence that was so graphic and harrowing.

“We will always be haunted by the unimaginable level of violence they inflicted on Chris, however we are pleased that the murder investigation has resulted in justice for our family.

“At this time we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the paramedics and hospital staff who all tried in vain to save Chris’s life.  Our thanks also go to the police and everyone else involved in obtaining a successful conviction.

“The family were blown away by the response of the local community who played their part in the conviction, especially Chris’s neighbour who called the police on hearing the attack, which led to the swift arrest of these two brutal thugs.

“A message of thanks must also go to the Organ Donation Co-ordinator who helped us deal with the loss of Chris, by helping to give life to others.

“Although we are happy with the sentence that has been passed down today, we as a family have also been given a life sentence, in that our lives will never be the same without Chris.

“We have lost a son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend, and he can never be replaced.

Detective Inspector Jim Robertson, who led the investigation, said: “The sentence that has been passed down today reflects the viciousness of the attack that Christopher was subjected to.

“He was a frail individual who had little chance of defending himself, and it is clear through their actions that both Podgornoi and Jakovlev are callous individuals, who thought nothing of attacking someone in such a vulnerable position.

“I am satisfied with today’s sentence, and I hope it will provide some closure to Christopher’s family, who have carried themselves with dignity throughout what has been a heartbreaking process for them.”

The pair were previously found guilty at their trial at the High Court in Edinburgh and were told at their sentencing that they would serve a minimum of 19 years before being deported.