A pensioner who murdered a woman in a brutal attack in her own home has been jailed for life.
Michael Taylor, 72, targeted 60-year old Elizabeth Muir, also known as Mackay, at some point between March 28 and 31 last year.
He beat her repeatedly and so severely that she died as a result of a number of significant head injuries, the Crown Office said.
She was found after two friends visited her Inverness home and discovered her body on the kitchen floor.
Taylor, from Inverness, denied the crime but was convicted of murder on May 18 following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum 16 years in jail when he appeared at the court on Wednesday, the Crown Office said.
Speaking following sentencing, Nicky Patrick, procurator fiscal for homicide and major crime, said: “Michael Taylor carried out a brutal attack which left a woman dead in her own home and her murder was a great shock to the local community.
“Despite denying the crime, the commitment of police and prosecutors ensured that he did not escape justice for his appalling actions.”
During the trial, the Crown said Taylor’s DNA was found on the body of Ms Muir and his fingerprints were found in her blood nearby.
When he was detained by police the following week, DNA from Ms Muir was recovered from the watch he was wearing.
In addition, medical staff from the prison where Taylor had been kept on remand told the court of admissions he had made to them.
He told them, unprompted, he had punched Ms Muir repeatedly, but claimed he was acting in self-defence after she had come at him with a knife.
No knife was ever found.
Detective Chief Inspector Keith Hardie, who led the inquiry, said: “We welcome the sentence imposed on Michael Taylor today following his conviction for the murder of Elizabeth within her own home at Inverness.
“Although it will never change what happened, I hope this outcome gives her family and friends some comfort in knowing that he will be behind bars for many years to come.
“This was an extensive inquiry which used the full resources of Police Scotland to identify and trace Taylor as he attempted to evade capture.
“Working alongside officers within the Highland and islands division, the major investigation team carried out a wealth of forensic work and extensive proactive policing assisted by invaluable assistance and information from members of the public.
“Once again I would like to thank those members of the public who provided information which helped in reaching this outcome today.
“Our thoughts continue to be with Elizabeth’s family and friends at this time.”