Glasgow & West Scotland

Christopher Grenfell appeals against James Simpson murder conviction

Christopher Grenfell and James Simpson
Image caption Christopher Grenfell deliberately drove over James Simpson outside his home

A car thief jailed for life for murdering a 76-year-old man with his own car is to launch an appeal.

Christopher Grenfell, 25, drove over James Simpson, fatally crushing him, outside the victim's home in Ashgill, South Lanarkshire, last November.

He was convicted of murder in August and jailed for a minimum 17 years after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Grenfell, who claimed he had killed Mr Simpson "by accident", is to appeal against his conviction and sentence.

The Court of Appeal in Edinburgh confirmed Grenfell's legal team had lodged papers to challenge the murder conviction and sentence.

'Crushing injuries'

No date has yet been fixed for any possible hearing.

During Grenfell's trial, the court heard how he smashed a window at the home Mr Simpson shared with his wife Minnie and took the keys to his 4x4 Land Rover Discovery.

Image caption The Simpson's home in Ashgill was broken into during the theft

The 76-year-old tried to tackle Grenfell but fell under the wheels of the vehicle, suffering "unsurvivable crushing injuries".

Mrs Simpson told the court: "A great relief went through me when I saw the car then going up the road.

"I was then very astonished when the car stopped suddenly and I went into despair when it reversed back to where it had been."

The teacher described her husband of 46 years then being "whirled around and around".

Mrs Simpson told the trial: "I shouted stop, but no-one was listening."

The Land Rover "went like a bullet" away from the scene before Mrs Simpson rushed to her husband's aid.

She told the trial: "I said: 'You will be alright, Jimmy', but he was not looking at me. He was just staring."

The jury heard how Grenfell had offered to plead guilty to the culpable homicide of Mr Simpson.

Grenfell denied he had "set out" to kill the pensioner that evening.

It emerged after the verdict Grenfell had a lengthy criminal past and was once jailed for the reset of a stolen Nissan Qashqai.

Judge Lord Burns told Grenfell the killing was "deplorable" and "motivated by greed".

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