Man jailed for 20 years for 'vicious' murder of Bo'ness disabled man

A brutal killer who murdered a disabled man in his home as a woman tried to shield the victim from continuing blows was jailed for life.
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Daniel Gauld, 25, repeatedly punched, kicked and battered Douglas Struthers with a metal pole during the fatal assault.

Gauld was heard shouting "die,die,die" and his repeated two handed volley of punches to the victim's face was described as "like something out of Rocky".

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He had denied murdering Mr Struthers in the attack at the victim's home at Barony Court, Bo'ness, on September 14, 2022, but was unanimously found guilty by a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Daniel Gauld sentenced to 20 years for murdering a disabled man. Pic: Police ScotlandDaniel Gauld sentenced to 20 years for murdering a disabled man. Pic: Police Scotland
Daniel Gauld sentenced to 20 years for murdering a disabled man. Pic: Police Scotland

The 62-year-old victim was so severely injured that he died on September 17 in 2022 at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

On Monday, a judge told Gauld: "You carried out a vicious, prolonged and savage attack on Douglas Struthers within his home."

Lord Fairley said the assault was of such severity that two of the victim's teeth ended up inside his lungs.

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He pointed out that there were a number of aggravating features to the case, including the attack was unprovoked, Gauld was highly intoxicated at the time and the victim was a disabled man in his 60s.

The judge ordered that Gauld, formerly of Jessfield Place, Bo'ness, should serve a minimum of 20 years imprisonment before he becomes eligible to seek parole.

Lord Fairley told Gauld that it did not follow that he will be released at the end of that period as it would be for parole authorities to consider that at the appropriate time.

The court heard that Fiona Grigg had visited Mr Struthers at his home and Gauld was also there drinking cider and whisky.

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Miss Grigg said of the victim: "He had problems with his legs. I can't remember what he had. He had a mobility scooter in his garden."

She said Gauld became aggressive and challenged the seated older man to "a square go" before punching him in the face.

She told police: "Daniel started punching him to the face constantly. He used both hands. He wouldn't stop. It was like something out of Rocky."

She said: "He just kept punching him, fist to face. He was punching him repeatedly. He couldn't get off the chair."

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The witness made a 999 call for help which was played during the trial. Neighbours also contacted emergency services.

Gauld began kicking his victim in the head. "He was booting him straight to the face. Daniel by that point was going mental," she said.

"He went and got the pole and went into the living room and started hitting Douglas on the head with the pole," she said.

"I went on top of Douglas to defend him. With me lying on him I got hit with the pole, " she said.

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Police officers who arrived at the scene began carrying out chest compressions on the victim while they waited for paramedics and a critical care doctor to arrive.

Gauld, who admitted lying to police during an interview, claimed that he got into a fight with his victim after the older man hit him on the hand with the pole.

He admitted he was angry and told the court; "He hit me and I hit him back."