A man convicted of murdering Edinburgh carer Mark Squires has been sentenced to life in prison.
At the High Court in Edinburgh today Lord Tyre sentenced Nico Allan to life imprisonment with a punishment part of 12 years after the accused was found guilty of the murder of carer Mark Squires.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Mr Squires, a carer for his mother, had been attending a fundraiser he had arranged for a sick friend. He and another friend were awaiting a taxi home from the Longstone area, when he was attacked in the early hours of 22 October.
Allan launched an unprovoked attack on his victim. He repeatedly punched and kicked him; stamped on his head and struck him with a glass bottle.
Officers and emergency services were called to a pathway next to a pub on Longstone Road at around 1.30am where Mr Squires, 44, was found seriously injured.
Speaking following the sentencing, Nicola Patrick, Procurator Fiscal for Homicide and Major Crime, said:
“This was an unprovoked attack carried out with a shocking level of violence.
“It is clear Nico Allan had no thought or concern for the consequences of his actions and Mark Squires has lost his life as a result.”
On Wednesday 8 August, Nico Allan, 24, was found guilty of Mr Squires’ murder.
On sentencing, Lord Tyre made the following statement in court: “By the verdict of the jury, you were convicted of the murder of Mark Squires.
“The sentence for murder is mandatory. I sentence you to life imprisonment, to run from 25 October 2017 when you were remanded in custody.
“I am also required by law to fix the period, known as the punishment part, that you must spend in prison before you may apply to the Parole Board for release on licence. After the expiry of this period, your actual date of release will depend on whether and when the Parole Board considers that your imprisonment is no longer necessary for the protection of the public.
“You should therefore understand that you may be in prison for a longer period than the one that I am about to set as the punishment part of your sentence, and also that if the Parole Board does authorise your release and you breach the terms of your licence, you will be liable to be recalled to prison to serve the remainder of your sentence.
“I have listened carefully to what has been said on your behalf, and I have read the Criminal Justice Social Work Report prepared since the trial. I do not doubt that you are distraught an devastated by the fact that Mr Squires died and by the situation in which you now find yourself, as reported by the social worker.
“I am disappointed, though, to see a less than full acceptance of responsibility by you for what happened. You continue to deny some of the more violent aspects of Mr Squires’ murder, contrary to the verdict of the jury.
“Your insistence that you acted to protect your girlfriend is not consistent with the evidence given by her and by other witnesses. If you had wanted to present your version of events to the jury, you had the opportunity to do so at the trial.
“In sentencing you I proceed on the basis of what the jury found proved and not, where different, the version that you now seek to offer.
“There is probably very little that I could say to you today that you have not already said to yourself during the months since the events of 22 October last year.
“You committed an extremely violent attack which was both unnecessary and unprovoked. The injuries sustained by Mr Squires speak eloquently of the severity of this pointless attack.
“It remains a mystery to me how you, a man with no previous record of offending, could in such a short space of time commit an act of such vicious and reckless violence.
“By your actions you have deprived a 44-year-old man of what ought to have been the remaining years of his life. You have also deprived the members of his family of his love, companionship and support.
“It is clear from the victim impact statement provided to me on behalf of his family that the effect on them has been devastating, not least for his elderly mother for whom he was caring. Nothing that I can do or say can bring Mr Squires back or diminish the grief of his family, but you should be well aware of the misery that you have caused other people by this senseless murder.
“You have also made a mess of your own life. You are now 24 and will spend the prime years of your life in prison. You have deprived yourself of the time that you could have spent with your partner as a young couple bringing up a family.
“In selecting the period for the punishment part which I consider necessary to satisfy the requirements of retribution and deterrence, I take account of the fact that you have not previously been convicted of any criminal offence. Having regard to all of the circumstances of this crime, I fix the period of the punishment part at 12 years.
“That, I repeat, is the minimum period of imprisonment which you will serve before you may apply for release on licence. It will be for others to decide whether you should then be released.
“In the meantime it is for you to make the best of the situation in which you now find yourself by preparing for your eventual release.”
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