Murdered pensioner’s son slams police efforts
By Sam Whyte
THE SON of a murdered pensioner today claimed police failed to call at his father’s door following reports of a disturbance.
Robert Simpson, 67, was found dead with serious head injuries following a “brutal assault” at his home in Armadale, West Lothian, on Saturday night.
Lothian and Borders Police have confirmed they checked reports of a disturbance at the address the previous night but say they found nothing untoward.
Mr Simpson’s son, Ross, has now angrily contradicted the police line that they “rang the doorbell”.
The 31-year-old, who was himself allegedly stabbed on Friday night, posted on Facebook: “The police did go to the house but never tried the door – pure f***** up.”
He said of his father: “He never deserved anything like what happened to him at all.
“He was a frail old man that never had a chance – if you hear anything then private message me please.
“I just want to know who it was and who called the police on Friday to report a disturbance because I don’t know if the police have found anything out yet or not.”
On Tuesday this week a police spokeswoman admitted no officer “actually saw” Mr Simpson but insisted they made every effort to check the premises.
She said: “”Officers were called to Mayfield Drive and they then made an attempt to source the root of a disturbance claim.
“The officers rang the doorbell and there was no response.
“As there appeared to be no other signs of a potential disturbance the officers left the premises.”
But today (Wednesday) a spokeswoman for the force would only “categorically state officers were in attendance”.
Asked outright if officers rang the doorbell or knocked the door, she replied: “Officers did all the inquiries deemed to be appropriate at the time.”
Neighbours of the OAP, known as Ronnie, have already questioned whether police properly investigated the disturbance.
They fear Mr Simpson may have been lying dead or dying within the property when police arrived.
Brooke Snedden, a neighbour of Ronnie and a friend of Ross, said on Tuesday: “The police have messed up – [they said] a neighbour phoned to report a disturbance on Friday but no police turned up.
“I saw no police other than a car that drove past the main entrance to the cul-de-sac out on the main street.
“Not once did the police check the door and there was no one checking with neighbours.
“I don’t know why they’re saying they did because I’m quite nosey and was keeping an eye out for any police on Friday when I heard they got called – and I didn’t see any, not one.”
Ronnie Simpson’s body was found by his daughter Kay when she called on Saturday night.
Ross was allegedly stabbed outside a pub in nearby Polbeth. He is understood to be recovering at home.
Two people have been charged with serious assault.
Police are said to be keeping an “open mind” on whether the incidents are linked.
In statement released via the police today, Ross and Kay said: “We loved our father very much indeed, and we are so devastated by our loss.
“Dad was well-known within the local community and I have no doubt that he’ll be missed by everyone who knew him.”
Officers today released images of the murdered OAP captured on CCTV three days before he was found dead.
The pictures were taken as Mr Simpson visited shops in Armadale’s South Street around lunchtime on Wednesday, October 3.
More than 40 officers are trying to track down the killer.
Police said Mr Simpson was a well-known member of the local community, and was often seen walking to and from the local shops.
They described him as a “frail man who walked with a stick or a crutch and often got out of breath so would regularly stop to take a rest”.
Detective Superintendent Bob Cowper said: “The response from the local community so far has been impressive and I would like to thank those who have come forward so far with information.
“Unfortunately it hasn’t yet brought us any closer to finding Mr Simpson’s killer, and we still have no obvious motive for why he might have been targeted.
“Armadale is a tight-knit community and the reaction from the community so far has been one of shock and disbelief.
“We will continue to follow up a number of lines of enquiry to trace whoever was responsible for his death.”
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