A PENSIONER murdered a 60-year-old woman in a “painful and terrifying” attack in her home, a decade after a killing at the same house. 

Michael Taylor, 71, was convicted yesterday at the High Court in Edinburgh of murdering Elizabeth Muir in Inverness

The house in Kintail Court was the scene of another murder in 2006, when hairdresser Ilene O’Connor’s body was found in the garden. Brian Grant, 50, was jailed the following year for beating her 
to death. 

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In Taylor’s trial, the jury heard prosecutors were unable to discover why he took Ms Muir’s life. But the court heard how he had grabbed her at her home before repeatedly punching her on the head. 

He then caused her to fall and she lost consciousness. Taylor, a widower, then repeatedly struck her on the head with what prosecutors suspect was a kitchen pot or pan.

He then removed Ms Muir’s clothing and bit her before fleeing. 

Taylor, a prisoner of HMP Inverness, denied murder. He was caught after police found his fingerprints and “large amounts” of his DNA at the scene. 

Detectives discovered Taylor had admitted assaulting Ms Muir, who was also known as Ms Mackay, to two people. 

He told one man: “I didn’t mean to kill her. I only punched her once.” 

However, on their second day of deliberations, jurors found him guilty of murder. 

Judge Michael O’Grady, QC, told Taylor he faces a mandatory life sentence but he will obtain a report about his character before imposing a minimum term. 

Ordering Taylor to be remanded in custody, the judge told him: “You have been convicted of an appalling offence. 

“Murder is always an appalling offence. The brutality of this particular offence is quite staggering. No one, I imagine, will ever know why it should be you attacked this woman in this fashion. 

“What is abundantly clear is she must have suffered a painful and terrifying death at your hands.” 

Police investigating the crime believe he attacked Ms Muir between March 28 and March 31 last year.

Officers arrived at the house and found “compelling” forensic evidence that showed Taylor was responsible. 

Detective Chief Inspector Keith Hardie, of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, who led the inquiry, welcomed the conviction. 

He said: “It was clear from the outset Elizabeth had suffered a violent attack at the hands of a person who then tried to evade capture by police.

“She made great efforts to defend herself, but it was sadly not enough. 

“Subsequently, the full resources of Police Scotland were used to identify and trace Taylor. This involved a wealth of forensic work, extensive proactive policing and invaluable assistance and information from the public to result in today’s conviction.    

“I hope this outcome, which I know may not provide Elizabeth’s family and friends with any closure, can help them begin to move on with their lives.”