Galston man beat neighbour to death in noise row

Galston man beat neighbour to death in noise row

An Ayrshire man has been convicted of murdering his neighbour after he complained about noise.

Groundworker William Nimmo, 34, climbed over a 6ft (1.8m) fence to get to 56-year-old Robert Clelland – who was known as Stuart.

Mr Clelland was killed at his home in Wallace Street, Galston, in July 2019.

The High Court in Glasgow heard how during the attack, Nimmo fractured Mr Clelland’s skull, broken his ribs and inflicted severe facial fractures.

Nimmo, who was 6ft 2in (1.9m) and weighed 16 st (102kg) had been playing music and using power tools in the garden of his mother Brenda’s Smith’s home where he was staying.

The court heard how he went into a rage when Mr Clelland, a former shoe factory foreman who was working shifts, confronted him about the noise.

In evidence, Nimmo admitted killing Mr Clelland, but denied murdering him and claimed that Mr Clelland struck the first blow.

Nimmo was asked why he had gone over the wall to confront Mr Clelland, who was a stranger to him, and replied: “I was angry because he was making an issue out of nothing.”

Defence QC Tony Graham said: “What did you intend to do,” and Nimmo replied: “Argue and have a fight.”

Pathologist Dr John Williams said Mr Clelland died from blunt force trauma and would have suffered a minimum of six blows to the face and a minimum of a further four blows to the head.

Mr Clelland’s body was found hours later lying in the hallway of his home with pools of blood at his head, at the front door and in the courtyard.

During the trial, Nimmo was cleared of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by dragging Mr Clelland’s body from the courtyard into the hallway of his home.

Judge Lord Mulholland told him: “This was a brutal murder on a man who was of slim frame and had done nothing to you other than telling you to keep the noise down.

“Be under no illusions about what is coming your way.”

Nimmo, who has 24 previous convictions, including five for violence. will serve a life sentence for murder and the punishment part will be determined next month at the High Court in Livingston.

The court also heard that after the attack Nimmo drove off in Mr Clelland’s van before abandoning it in nearby Bentinck Square in Galston.

When asked by Mr Graham why he did that Nimmo said: “I went for a joyride.”

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