Tuesday 24 October 2017

Stalker who murdered love rival and attacked former partner is jailed for life

Frank Moore: murdered his ex-girlfriend's new lover, 34-year-old Stewart Taylor. Photo: PA
Frank Moore: murdered his ex-girlfriend's new lover, 34-year-old Stewart Taylor. Photo: PA
Murdered: 34-year-old Stewart Taylor. Photo: PA

Hilary Duncanson

A STALKER motivated by "jealousy and hatred" who murdered his ex-girlfriend's new lover in a "depraved and brutal" attack has been jailed for life.

Frank Moore killed 34-year-old Stewart Taylor and left former partner Lynsey Methven, 31, for dead after a "remorseless" assault on February 7 this year.

He was told at the High Court in Edinburgh today he would have to spend at least 22 years behind bars before he can be considered for release.

Moore, 43, had stalked the couple for weeks, subjecting them to intimidation and threats before flying into a jealous rage and launching his murderous attack at Ms Methven's home in the Grange area of Edinburgh.

He inflicted severe injuries on both victims, leaving them unconscious, before fleeing the property.

The couple, who had hoped to share a happy future, were discovered by firefighters who were called to deal with a blaze that had broken out in the Chalmers Crescent flat following the attack. Mr Taylor died a short time later of his injuries.

Moore was found guilty at the High Court in Edinburgh last month of the murder of Mr Taylor and attempted murder of Ms Methven.

Passing sentence today, judge Lord Pentland told Moore: "You have been convicted of the depraved and brutal murder of Mr Stewart Taylor and of the attempted murder of your former partner, Ms Lynsey Methven.

"The motive appears to have been jealousy and hatred towards the couple.

"Ms Methven no longer wanted to be associated with you, but you pursued and harassed her in defiance of her wishes.

"She and Mr Taylor sought only the chance to develop their relationship with one another.

"This you were unwilling or unable to tolerate."

The judge said the couple were likely to have been asleep when Moore gained entry to Ms Methven's flat.

Lord Pentland added: "You then subjected her and Mr Taylor to a remorseless attack involving a high level of violence.

"It must have been a terrifying and horrific ordeal for them both."

Moore, of Edinburgh, had denied the charges, forcing the case to go to trial.

Jurors found the killer had used an unknown blunt weapon to beat the couple on the head and body. He also punched and kicked the pair during the early-morning attack.

Ms Methven survived the ordeal but was left with a number of severe injuries which continue to cause her problems.

As well as being found guilty of murder and attempted murder, Moore was also convicted of possessing a stun gun at his flat in Bothwell Street.

Lord Pentland said the attack had involved a degree of pre-meditation, telling Moore: "You carried it through with ruthless determination."

Mr Taylor, a chef who worked in Edinburgh's Old Town, was originally from Aberdeen.

The judge said: "Mr Taylor was an admirable young man, already successful in his career, who was well liked and respected by his colleagues.

"He had everything to live for. He had done you no harm whatsoever. His death has had a devastating effect on his parents and Ms Methven.

"No sentence I can impose can possibly provide redress for his loss to those who were close to him."

The court heard that Moore had previous convictions related to domestic violence.

Following sentencing today, grieving loved-ones spoke of their loss.

In a statement, Ms Methven said: "Everyone keeps asking me how I feel. Nothing I can say would be enough.

"Stewart and I were happy together and now he's gone."

Of Moore, she said: "No amount of time that he spends in jail would ever be enough. I would like to thank the police officers that have helped to put this case together and for all the support they have given me and my family."

Mr Taylor's natural father called for the return of the death penalty.

Derek Alexander, 58, said of Moore: "He should have got more. Bring back hanging for the likes of this. It's terrible."

He said outside court: "All this could have been dealt with many weeks ago if this man had just put his hands up and said he was guilty instead of dragging the whole family through this. It's his mother and his brothers that I really feel for."

Asked how Mr Taylor's family is coping, Mr Alexander said: "Terrible. They're finding it very hard to accept, very hard; the same as myself."

Mr Alexander said he had not seen Mr Taylor for a while before his death, but added: "From what I'm led to believe he was a very popular young man with a good future in front of him.

"He loved Edinburgh. Cooking was his life and he would travel anywhere just to cook. He had fantastic prospects and this man has taken that all away from us and Stewart."

Stephen McGowan, district procurator fiscal for Edinburgh, said: "Frank Moore engaged in an obsessive and malicious campaign of harassment directed at his former girlfriend Lynsey Methven, who had ended their relationship.

"That culminated in him committing a sustained assault of extreme brutality on his two victims.

"He killed Stewart Taylor and left Lynsey Methven with permanent injuries. He demonstrated an utter disregard for human life.

"I hope that today's sentences will provide some comfort to Lynsey Methven and the family of Stewart Taylor."

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