A depraved Scottish predator who brutally raped and murdered a defenseless pensioner in his home in Glasgow has been jailed for life.
Registered sex offender Jason Graham killed Esther Brown in what a judge described as “the most serious of crimes”, which involved “complete brutality and extreme and persistent violence”.
When he imprisoned Graham for at least 19 years at Livingston High Court, Lord Armstrong told him that the gruesome murder had had a “devastating and lasting impact” on the lives of her relatives and members of her community.
During the “extreme and persistent” attack in May, the disgusting thug repeatedly beat, kicked and punched the 67-year-old’s head and body and beat her with pieces of wood from a chair.
The evil 30-year-old left the retired librarian lying in her blood-soaked property to buy tobacco with her bank card at a store near her Woodlands home.
Esther’s abused body was discovered inside the West Princes Street property on June 1, after she had been missing for four days.
DNA evidence led police to arrest Graham, who was allegedly under the supervision of specialists after being released from a seven-and-a-half-year jail term for raping a retired nurse in 2014.
Brian McConnachie QC, defense attorney, told the court that his client’s attitude from the beginning was that he had no recollection of what he had done to his victim and that he had been intoxicated by both alcohol and drugs.
He continued: “Mr Graham understands that there is nothing I can say that can in any way shape or shape mitigate the offenses for which he has pleaded guilty.
“In relation to what I am saying, it is not in any way intended to provide a kind of excuse for what has happened, because there can clearly be no one. His attitude towards me from the beginning has been that he had no memory. “
Sir. McConnachie said Graham suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of seeing his mother commit suicide by jumping from the window of a tower block when he was a child.
He said: “He had, even before his mother’s suicide, witnessed a great deal of physical abuse from his father against his mother.
“Despite the love and best efforts of his grandparents, it seems that he was repeatedly involved in both drugs and crime from the age of about 10 or 11, and it has been a cycle that it never seems to be. finished.
“He has told me that he deeply regrets what has happened. The author of the report is of the opinion that Mr Graham had a high level of planning in seeking out a vulnerable victim and forcing him into her home.
“In my post, there is no proven basis for that. No one knows why he showed up at the special door where he ended up. “
He added: Mr. Graham understands that there is one conviction available for these crimes, and what your lordship must do in addition to imposing that life sentence is to impose a penalty.
“As for the horrific nature of the offenses and his previous conviction, he understands that it will be a lengthy sentence. He understands that if he is ever released, he will always be under surveillance.”
The court was previously told that officers who were called to the scene of the murder found a “clear sign of a disturbance” with blood stains on objects in the living room and bathroom as well as torn clothes.
Throughout the apartment, there were footwear imprints in blood with the same footprint pattern.
An autopsy showed that Esther had “extensive bruises all over her face” and a broken nose.
She also sustained severe sores in her mouth and bruises on several areas of her body.
Wounds on her hands “could have been inflicted as she tried to ward off blows”, and bruises that were “compatible with sexual assault” were also detected.
The official cause of her death was determined as “blunt force trauma of head and chest”.
Graham was caught on CCTV buying tobacco with the pensioner’s bank card the night Graham murdered her.
DNA grafts taken from her body later turned out to be a match for the accused.
The court heard that Graham later called a relative and said he “robbed the apartment and panicked” and that he had “done something bad”.
Graham stayed with that relative for several days until he was asked for a news article about the discovery of Esther’s body.
The court heard Graham’s “eyes got big” and he looked “shocked” before saying “I just robbed the place I was looking for a ride.”
Graham left the property, claiming he would wash his clothes and said “they are coming after me.”
In sentencing, Lord Armstrong told Graham that his criminal history already at the age of 30 included 23 previous convictions, including a seven-year and six-month sentence, which was handed down in the High Court in October 2013 for sexual crimes.
“After your early release from prison on June 16, 2018, you were ruled in society as a registered sex offender.
“I notice that you have previously been diagnosed with PTSD, but also that the condition would not have affected your ability to misunderstand your actions.”
He added that neither the accused’s inability to remember what he had done nor his excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs distracted from the nature or extent of his crimes.
He continued: “There are no reasons that could possibly justify taking someone else’s life as you did, and the only conviction for murder is life imprisonment.
“Your victim lived a fulfilling and rewarding life. It has been demonstrated by the great grief of the local community and their collective shock over her untimely death.
“She was an exceptionally kind, compassionate and caring person”.
He highlighted that Esther had worked as a mentor for street priests and provided practical assistance to refugees escaping conflict.
She worked with the Woodlands Community Trust for more than a decade after retiring and was the director of a local charity until just a few weeks before her brutal murder.
She also volunteered at a local café and food bank.
In fact, her community held her so high that there were plans for a lasting memorial in her memory.
Outside court, local resident Helen Moran recounted how Esther was “loved and respected” by people in her close community.
She said: “One of her priorities was to feed people. She was so sweet and so accommodating to everyone. She did not judge people.
“Which way it was for her to go. Graham knew what he was doing.
“He was up to a vulnerable woman. He would have kept an eye on her.”
Pastor Martin Ayers of St Silas Church, where Esther regularly worshiped, said her meaningless death had caused much grief.
He added: “We want to make sure this does not define our memories of a huge, energetic and compassionate woman of God.”
Detective Suzie Chow, from Scotland’s large investigative team, said: “This was a brutal attack and one that left Esther’s family and community completely devastated.
“It has been a shocking ordeal for Esther’s family, her friends and those who knew her, and my thoughts are with them as they continue to come to terms with her death.”
Do not miss the latest news from across Scotland and elsewhere – Sign up for our daily newsletter here.