A WORLD-leading Scots academic found bludgeoned to death with his partner in their rural idyll in Tasmania was described as a fearless advocate for social justice.

Glasgow-born Professor Gavin Mooney, 69, and his partner Dr Del Weston, 62, were found dead in their house after the alleged killer – the 27-year-old son of Dr Weston and a former partner – called emergency services.

They had each suffered severe blunt force trauma to the head in the lounge of their secluded home, it was reported.

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Mr Mooney is known as one of the founding fathers of health economics – helping oppressed and disadvantaged communities. He was also a prolific academic author and was described as inspirational during his career in Scotland before travelling the world extensively.

He went to North Berwick High School, graduated with MA Honours from Edinburgh University and was head of Aberdeen University's Health Economics Research Unit.

His brother, retired GP Dr Grant Murray, lives in Kelso, Roxburghshire.

A spokesman for Aberdeen University paid tribute to Mr Mooney, saying: "We are extremely saddened to hear the tragic news.

"Professor Mooney was a founder of health economics and a highly regarded director of the University of Aberdeen's Health Economics Research Unit from 1977 to 1986 and again from 1991 to 1993.

"He was an inspiration to many health economists, both at Aberdeen and further afield. He was internationally acclaimed for his work, his passion and his commitment to achieving equality for minority and oppressed groups.

"He will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with the family."

Ms Watson's son, Nicolau Francisco Soares, did not enter a plea when he appeared in the Hobart Magistrates Court and was remanded in custody.

Mr Mooney and Dr Weston moved to Tasmania from Western Australia to enjoy semi-retirement last year.

Police said it was a particularly gruesome crime with a hammer and sledgehammer believed to have been used to inflict the fatal wounds found next to the bodies.

The alleged killer was waiting in another room when police arrived in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday.

Detective Inspector Peter Powell said: "The only person who really knows what occurred in that house is the man we have in custody.

"There was some sign in the room of a disturbance, some furniture overturned. But as to who was attacked first or how the altercation commenced, we don't know. We hope to discover it as we go through the investigation. The area where they lived is a remote area and there are no houses close to the location."

Tanya Plibersek, Australian Minister for Health, said: "The passing of Professor Gavin Mooney and his partner Dr Weston is a tragic loss for the health community, both in Australia and internationally.

"Professor Mooney was a fearless advocate for social justice, leading debates on the importance of consumers in determining how their health resources are allocated.

"A rare breed of academic, his capacity to bridge theory and practice was evident throughout his career and semi-retirement."