Deaths of OAPs killed by TV star neighbour amid bin row to be probed

Oskars Rancevs was previously cleared of murdering Martyn Smith and killing John Whyte on grounds of mental health.

Death of pensioners killed by mentally ill TV star neighbour Oskars Rancevs in Oban to be probed in FAI Spindrift

The deaths of two pensioners who were killed by their mentally ill TV star neighbour are to be probed under the orders of Scotland’s highest law officer.

Oskars Rancevs, who was a reality TV dance star in his native Latvia, was previously cleared of murdering ex-SAS soldier Martyn Smith, 73, and killing John Whyte, 75, on mental health grounds.

The pensioners died after being brutally attacked by Rancevs, 37, in a row over rubbish bins in Oban, Argyll in October 2018.

It was previously reported how Rancevs told police: “This is the best day I’ve ever had.”

A court heard how Rancevs was suffering from bipolar affective disorder when he attacked the pensioners.

Following the criminal proceedings against Rancevs, he was ordered to be detained indefinitely at the State Hospital on February 5, 2020.

On Friday, The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) announced that a first notice of a Fatal Accident Inquiry has been launched into the deaths.

A preliminary hearing will be held on April 20 at Oban Sheriff Court.  

The FAI is being carried out under the orders of The Lord Advocate, Dorothy Bain KC after it was concluded that the incident gave “rise to significant public concern”.

The inquiry will seek to determine the cause of the deaths, the surrounding circumstances and establish what precautions can be taken in the future.

The COPFS say the focus will be the treatment of Rancevs’ mental health by the community mental health team.

It will examine how mental health teams work with patients who fail to fully engage and refuse to take medication.

Additionally, Police Scotland’s handling of the case will be examined including the delays which occurred before Mr Whyte was discovered in his home.

Procurator Fiscal Katrina Parkes, who is head of COPFS’s Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit, said: “The Lord Advocate considers that the deaths of John Whyte and Martyn Smith occurred in circumstances giving rise to significant public concern. This has been a complex, detailed and lengthy investigation. The lodging of the First Notice enables FAI proceedings to commence under the direction of the Sheriff. 

“The families and their legal representatives will continue to be kept informed of significant developments as court proceedings progress.” 

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code