Brothers helped to torture and kill a grandfather

Michael and Daniel Smith pounced on Colin MacDonald as he lay in bed at his home in Airdrie on August 19, 2019.

Brothers helped to torture and kill a grandfather Getty Images

Two brothers helped to torture and kill a grandfather, including waterboarding him with diesel.

Michael and Daniel Smith pounced on Colin MacDonald as he lay in bed at his home in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, on August 19, 2019.

Along with an accomplice, the duo dragged the 59-year-old into the boot of a car, threatened him with a shotgun and brutally battered him.

Mr MacDonald was also soaked with the fuel before being dumped in his t-shirt and boxer shorts outside a friend’s house four miles away in Greengairs.

The victim – who had severe hypothermia as a result of the drenching – was taken to hospital, but never recovered.

However, he was able to identify 31-year-old Michael Smith – nicknamed Menace – as one of the assailants before his death.

The car meantime used to ferry stricken Mr MacDonald after he was abducted was linked to 22-year-old Daniel Smith.

On Friday, Michael Smith was convicted of murder while his younger sibling was found guilty of the reduced charge of culpable homicide.

Both will be sentenced next month.

Jurors at the High Court in Glasgow heard how the men struck around 12.30am on the night of the killing.

Mr MacDonald was in bed when the trio burst in and were immediately on top of him.

After the attack, he was then hauled out of the Vauxhall Astra and thrown injured onto the street where his friend Wahid Khan lived.

Mr MacDonald was so badly hurt, Wahid did not initially recognise him.

The witness recalled: “I thought he was dead at that point. He was not moving.”

He and others rushed Mr MacDonald to hospital.

It was there – despite his critical condition – the dad was able to recall to his three children what had happened.

He told son John how it was “Menace and two other people” who had turned up.

Mr MacDonald said he had a shotgun put to his head.

In his speech to jurors, prosecutor Murdoch MacTaggart stated: “John said his father mentioned they had poured fluid on him like waterboarding, trying to drown him.

“His father had said it was diesel. He was in pain, but he knew what he was saying.”

The victim’s other son James said his dad spoke of “choking” as the fuel was doused over him.

The witness told jurors: “He said they were asking him questions, but he told them he could not help about what they wanted to know.

“He said they kept asking did he know where the ‘powder’ was.”

Mr MacDonald also stated they had “done him this time”.

The victim said to son: “It was Menace again. I do not think I will make it.”

Daughter Carol remembered the “very strong” stench of diesel from her dad.

She stated: “He said they tortured him and dropped him off at Wahid Khan’s house. They had made him drink something.”

Mr MacDonald had earlier arrived at hospital around 45 minutes after being hauled from his bed still soaked in diesel and suffering from hypothermia.

He eventually passed away due to multi-organ failure and chest injuries – some only seen in those who have been in car crashes or fallen from a height.

Prosecutors stated Mr MacDonald was hit with a shovel and abducted from his home.

He was then bundled into a boot and the gun brandished at him.

The charge also included him being punched, kicked and stamped upon as well being “forced to ingest diesel”.

Advocate depute Mr MacTaggart told jurors: “What happened to him happened at the hands of Michael and Daniel Smith.”

Forensic evidence also linked the brothers to the crime.

Lord Beckett deferred sentencing until July 28 in Edinburgh and remanded both in custody.

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