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Wednesday, 5 April, 2000, 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK
Schoolboy guilty of killing widow
Court graphic
The boy wsa on trial at the High Court, Perth
A schoolboy has been found guilty of robbing and killing a 90-year-old widow.

Mary Payne was set upon by the 15-year-old as she made her way home from an early morning shopping trip on 17 October last year.

A jury, sitting at the High Court in Perth on Wednesday, took just over an hour to find the teenager guilty.



I feel that my mother suffered a great indignity for the last day of her life

Elizabeth Chalmers, victim's daughter
The boy grabbed his victim's handbag and knocked her to the ground in the middle of a Dundee street.

Mrs Payne broke her pelvis and suffered so much stress she had a heart attack which killed her.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on 26 April.

The teenager from Dundee became one of Scotland's youngest killers when the verdict was returned.

Mrs Payne's daughter Elizabeth Chalmers said she was pleased the boy had been found guilty.

'Very sad case'

"I'm glad that it has all been brought to an end and I can get on with my life.

"Maybe now my mother will get the chance to rest in peace.


Ninewells Hospital
Mary Payne died at Ninewells Hospital
"The whole case has been a very sad situation. There have been no winners, only losers.

"I feel that my mother suffered a great indignity for the last day of her life," said Mrs Chalmers.

The boy, who was initially charged with murdering Mrs Payne, told a friend he had mugged an old lady.

"He said he had come up from behind her and tried to grab the bag and there was a little bit of a struggle," the young witness had told the court.

Thrown out of home

The jury also heard how the boy had already been thrown out of his own home by his father and was staying with friends.

But they had also thrown him out the night before he killed Mrs Payne and he had been sleeping rough.

He confessed to police that he had slept in a shop front just yards from where he confronted Mrs Payne.

The youngster's fingerprint was found on a knife and a half-eaten bread roll, taken from the woman's bag, which was found discarded in a nearby garden.

Lord Johnstone said he would need reports before the perpetrator could be sentenced, including one from the children's panel.

He described Mrs Payne's death and the subsequent trial as "a very anxious and tragic case."

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04 Apr 00 | Scotland
Youth 'bragged about mugging'
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