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TV star who killed neighbours said it was ‘best day he’d had’

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

Court: Oskars Rancevs attacked Martyn Smith and John Whyte. Spindrift
Court: Oskars Rancevs attacked Martyn Smith and John Whyte.

A man who killed two neighbours in a row over rubbish bins said it was the ‘best day he’d ever had’.

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.

Returning to the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday, the 33-year-old was ordered to be detained at The State Hospital without limit of time and will only be released when he is no longer considered a serious risk to the public.

Lady Rae told Rancevs: “This is a very tragic case. You are a serious risk to the public.

“I have no option but to impose a compulsion and restriction order on you.”

Psychiatrist Dr John Patrick told the court that the measures were necessary and said Rancevs gave the impression of being “haughty and dismissive”.

He said: “Due to the risk he poses, it is necessary to protect the public.

“His violence is entirely driven by his illness. When well he is not physically challenging.”

Rancevs was suffering from bipolar affective disorder when he attacked the pensioners in Columba Court, Oban, on October 1, 2018.

In the lead up to the killings, a number of people expressed concerns to the authorities about Rancevs who had behaved erratically in a church, a pub, and at a cinema.

Mr Smith had previously complained about Rancevs putting the wrong rubbish in the bin.

Rancevs approached Mr Smith as he stood outside the block of flats talking to Mr Whyte.

He threw rubbish at Mr Smith, and then pushed him on the chest a number of times.

Mr Smith fell to the ground and as he tried to get back up, Rancevs kicked him on the head and jumped on his chest.

As Mr Smith tried to crawl away, Rancevs kicked him on the back, grabbed him by his coat and dragged him downhill and positioned him between two parked cars.

He then climbed onto the bonnet of one of the cars and jumped on top of Mr Smith before pouring a laundry basket filled with rubbish over him.

A post-mortem examination later found Mr Smith died from blunt-force trauma and had multiple rib fractures and a fractured sternum.

Rancevs also kicked Mr Whyte on the stomach twice.

The pensioner dialled 999 and went back into his flat, but died from cardiac arrest caused by stress.

Police later found him dead on a couch with his phone in his hand.

The court had heard professional dancer Rancevs told police after the attacks: “This is the best day I’ve ever had.”

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