Select Page

A murder suspect has been accused of showing “utter disregard” for a pensioner he is charged with driving over and killing.

The claim was made against Christopher Grenfell by a detective after he was detained following the death of 76-year-old James Simpson.

Grenfell is on trial accused of murdering Mr Simpson, who died while allegedly trying to stop his 4×4 being stolen from outside his home in Ashgill, Lanarkshire, in November 2011.

It also emerged on Wednesday that the 25-year-old had offered to plead guilty to the culpable homicide of the OAP at a previous hearing.

The jury at the High Court in Glasgow heard Grenfell’s police interview in which he was questioned about the death.

Detective sergeant Julie Mullen said to him: “It was you that was within the Simpsons’ black Land Rover.

“It was you that drove back and forward over him showing utter disregard for his well being leaving him to die.

“It was you that Minnie Simpson (James Simpson’s wife) watched carry out this act and it was you that she positively identified.”

Grenfell replied: “No comment”. The accused did deny that he murdered Mr Simpson and that he was in the Land Rover.

His QC later revealed to the court that Grenfell had wanted to accept his responsibility for Mr Simpson’s death.

Ian Duguid, defending, said: “Christopher Grenfell has since offered to plead guilty to the charge of culpable homicide at earlier court proceedings prior to this trial.”

Mr Duguid went on to accuse DS Mullen of being “confrontational” during the interview.

But, the police officer replied: “I would not describe myself as confrontational.”

Grenfell is accused of driving over Mr Simpson leaving him so seriously injured that he died.

He is joined in the dock by 24-year-old co-accused William MacVicar, who is accused of acting with Grenfell and others to conspire to carry out car thefts.

The alleged plot includes a claim that they broke into Mr Simpson’s home and stole a set of keys before taking the Land Rover. The pair are also charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

The trial, before Judge Lord Burns, continues.