‘SENSELESS and sickening’ – a Rugby man whose assault caused the death of another man has been found guilty of murder.
Matthew Naysmith, 20, was unanimously found guilty of murder by a jury at Warwick Crown Court on Tuesday (September 26) following a week-long trial.
In September 2021, police were called to a property in Newland Street after concerns for the welfare of a man were raised by a member of the public.
Officers found the victim Mark Richmond, 47, unconscious, struggling to breathe and bleeding from his head, along with signs of a disturbance.
Present at the house of multiple occupation was Matthew Naysmith, who was immediately arrested by officers on suspicion of assault causing grievous bodily harm.
Mr Richmond was taken to hospital with a punctured lung, fractured ribs, and a fractured skull.
He died from his injuries two days later, leading Naysmith to be further arrested on suspicion of murder.
The then 18-year-old initially denied all involvement but, when challenged by police, admitted the pair had been drinking together the night before Mark’s death.
He claimed they both went to bed in their respective flats and he woke up the following morning to find Mark injured.
However, subsequent crime scene investigation and analysis by blood pattern experts showed signs of a clean-up, and confirmed elements of Naysmith’s story did not add up.
Det Insp Collette O’Keefe from Warwickshire Police said: “From the outset Naysmith denied any wrongdoing, but the reality was far from this, and thankfully the jury were able to see through his lies.
“Naysmith’s attack was senseless and sickening – he severely assaulted Mark and ultimately was responsible for ending his life.
“Mark did nothing to deserve this, and it was an act of extreme violence which was totally unjustified.
“Mark’s family have been incredibly brave throughout the proceedings and although we can’t bring him back, I hope knowing that Naysmith will soon be behind bars will provide some comfort at this challenging time.
“I would like to praise the efforts of the investigative team, who have done everything they can to disprove Naysmith’s web of lies and make sure we were able to secure a conviction.”
Mr Richmond’s family added: “Mark didn’t deserve such a violent and brutal end to his life, and neither did his children deserve to have their father taken away in such tragic circumstances.
“It’s been an incredibly emotional two years waiting for an outcome so we’re glad this has finally come to an end and justice has been done.”
Naysmith will be sentenced at Warwick Crown Court on October 12.