Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Murder probe over OAP car death

James Simpson, who was hit by his own car as he tried to stop it being stolen

Detectives have launched a murder inquiry after the "tragic" death of a pensioner who was hit by his own car as he tried to stop it being stolen.

James Simpson, 76, saw someone trying to take his Land Rover Discovery at around 8.10pm on Tuesday in Graham Place, Ashgill, near Larkhall, South Lanarkshire.

Police believe whoever took it may have attempted to enter the house first to try to find the keys. Mr Simpson, who was at home with his wife, went out to try and protect his property and was hit by the car.

The black 57 plate Discovery was later recovered intact around five miles away in Crossford. Police said it will be of "critical" importance to their investigation and will be forensically examined.

They believe another vehicle may also have been involved in the incident and appealed for information.

Detective Superintendent Robbie Allan, of Strathclyde Police, said: "Mr Simpson's vehicle was being stolen from outside his house. Mr Simpson has gone out to intervene and attempt to retrieve his property, his vehicle.

"He sustained a number of injuries during that attempt to get his property back and unfortunately he's died as a result of that.

"I would appeal to anyone who was in the Ashgill area or Crossford area who saw anything suspicious or who saw this vehicle to come forward.

"This is an absolutely tragic event. This has been a theft of a motor vehicle which has escalated to such an extent a 76-year-old man has lost his life and I'm really appealing for anyone with any knowledge of the crime or who was in the area to come forward to the police."

Police believe Mr Simpson, who had an adult son, died at the scene.