Stephen Thomson jailed for murdering Peter Morgan in Coatbridge hammer attack

A man who murdered his disabled victim with a hammer has been jailed for at least 20 years.

Stephen Thomson, 26, assaulted 60-year-old Peter Morgan in the victim’s home in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.

Thomson repeatedly struck Mr Morgan on the head with the tool in November 2021.

One of the skull fractures resembled an injury normally seen after a car accident or a fall from great height, a court heard.

Mr Morgan died from his injuries in hospital five days after the attack.

At the High Court in Livingston on Wednesday, Thomson was handed a life sentence and ordered to spend at least two decades behind bars after being found guilty of murder last month.

The judge, Lord Young, described it as a “savage attack”.

He added: “There were a number of aggravating factors to this murder.

“Most significantly, Peter Morgan was an exceptionally vulnerable man who used a wheelchair for mobility and who had his own difficulties with alcohol.

“This attack took place in his own home where he had an expectation of being safe.”

Thomson was said to have been heavily under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the murder.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Thomson’s sister expressed disbelief that she had lost her brother to “such a senseless and violent attack”.

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Lord Young noted Thomson’s “difficult upbringing” and his struggles with “ADHD and learning difficulties”.

However, Thomson was said to have failed “time and time again” to take advantage of opportunities offered to him to lead a more responsible life.

It was also reported to the judge that he takes “little responsibility” for his actions and lacks insight into the harm he has caused others.

Lord Young added: “Your offending includes assault, fire-raising, threatening and abusive behaviour and possession of an offensive weapon.

“You have then often gone on to breach community payback orders and restriction of liberty orders imposed on you by the courts.

“I can only hope that, with time, you will come to reflect upon the harm you have caused and will start to make use of the opportunities within prison towards rehabilitation.”

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