Baseball bat murder duo start appeals
TWO teenagers jailed for murdering a life-long friend by beating him with baseball bats are appealing against their convictions.
Declan Robertson, 17, and Andrew Parfinowski, 18, were each given a life sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh last month and ordered to serve a minimum of 13 years in prison.
The pair were convicted of the murder of Brett Lodge, 17, who was attacked on a path between Claverhouse Drive and Glendinning Crescent in Liberton on July 1, 2011.
Now lawyers for Robertson and Parfinowski have lodged an intimation to fight the convictions at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh. Robertson is appealing against both his conviction and the length of his sentence, and his legal team have until February 8 to submit grounds for the action.
Parfinowksi is appealing against his murder conviction and the appeal grounds are due to be submitted by February.
A Crown Office spokesman said: “Intimations to appeal have been submitted for Robertson and Parfinowksi. They both have dates for notes of appeal to be submitted, although these can be extended if necessary.”
Sentencing them last month to begin their term at a young offenders institution, temporary judge John Morris QC told Robertson and Parfinowski: “There is no sentence I can impose that can bring back Brett Lodge or can compensate his family for their devastating loss.”
Their friend Cameron McKail, 17, who was convicted of assaulting Brett, was given a one-year supervision order.
The thugs attacked Brett during a house party at the end of the school term. He was beaten with baseball bats and died of brain injuries at the Western General Hospital eight days afterwards.
Robertson, of Clarinda Terrace, Liberton, and Parfinowski, of Ravenswood Avenue, The Inch, had denied murder. The pair were convicted after a four-week trial.
During the hearing, Robertson’s defence advocate, Herbert Kerrigan QC, told the court that his client had been willing to plead guilty to a reduced charge of culpable homicide before the trial, but the Crown refused to accept it. Mr Kerrigan said: “He expresses genuine remorse. He has always accepted his behaviour was entirely inappropriate.”
Parfinowski’s solicitor advocate, Brian Gilfedder, told the court his client was a first offender who had “borderline learning difficulties”.
Brett’s mum, Gillian Lodge, whose former partner, Martyn Barclay, was shot dead in The Inch in January 2009, earlier told how the murder left a “big hole” in the family’s hearts.
A spokesman for Fairbairns Solicitors, representing Robertson, said the firm did not wish to comment on their client’s case.
A spokeswoman for John Pryde & Company Solicitors, representing Parfinowksi, also did not wish to comment.
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