‘Depraved’ predator raped and murdered pensioner, 67, in her own home

A predator who raped and murdered a pensioner has been jailed for the "gravest of crimes".

Evil Jason Graham, 30, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 19 years, at the High Court in Livingston on Wednesday after raping and killing Esther Brown in her own home.

The discovery of the "much-loved and active" 67-year-old's body on June 1 shook her community in the Woodlands area of Glasgow where Graham's twisted actions have made a lasting impact.

Judge Lord Armstrong said Graham had committed the "gravest of crimes involving the most depraved actions" which were characterised by "utter brutality".

The judge told Graham in court that his actions had caused "significant emotional harm" for Ms Brown's family, adding: "Your victim was a woman who lived a fulfilling and rewarding life, devoted to helping others."

On the night of the attack, Graham had been thrown out of a pub after he became increasingly aggressive while out drinking with family.

Graham launched the attack despite being monitored by police as a registered sex offender, following his 2018 release from prison where he spent seven years for raping an older woman.

Graham was arrested and charged one week after Ms Brown's body was found at her address in West Princes Street on Tuesday, June 1.

She had been reported missing for four days after members of the community noticed she had failed to turn up to local events.

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At a previous hearing in October, prosecutor Alex Prentice QC told the High Court in Glasgow that she had suffered a "sustained beating" with pieces of wood from a broken chair.

Following the attack, the court heard Graham then purchased a packet of cigarettes using Ms Brown's bank card.

Speaking in court on Wednesday, defence lawyer Brian McConnachie QC said Graham had "no recollection" of the attack, having been under the influence of drugs and having consumed a substantial amount of alcohol.

He spoke about Graham's PTSD diagnosis after witnessing his mother's suicide at the age of six, and how this had a lasting impact on his life.

Lord Armstrong said Graham's PTSD "does not stop the offender being aware of his actions", adding: "Excessive alcohol consumption does not detract from the nature of his actions."

He said Graham poses "a very high risk of reoffending".

Taking into account Graham's early plea to rape and murder at a hearing last month, Lord Armstrong reduced his sentencing for the rape charge from 10 years to six years and eight months.

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He said this is to run concurrently with the sentence for murder, which totals a minimum of 19 years in prison backdated to June 7 before parole.

Speaking outside the court following the sentencing, Esther's friend Sharon McKay said: "The impact of her death has been huge in the community.

"The sentencing is very disappointing as many of us in the surrounding community have been victims of perpetrators being let back into society."

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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