Police have welcomed the life sentence handed to Sandra Weir for the murder of an elderly woman in Leven.
The drug addict exploited her friendship with Mary Logie for financial gain, and killed the 82-year old in her own home.
Weir was handed a life sentence today at the High Court in Edinburgh, and was told she must serve 21 years before being considered for release.
Mrs Logie, known to all as Rae, was found dead in her home in Green Gates, Leven, on Tuesday, January 5 last year.
The 82-year-old suffered significant head injuries.
Detective Chief Inspector Keith Hardie, of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, said: “Sandra Weir is an evil and conniving woman who subjected Mary to a protracted period of bullying and intimidation, which culminated in the infliction of an unparalleled level of violence.
“She coerced Mary in order to obtain cash and other items of value. When this was no longer available to Weir, she subjected Mary to a horrendous attack, which left her with fatal injuries.
“Mary’s death has had an impact on all who knew her, including the local community who provided us with information that allowed Weir to be brought to justice.
“Mary was a vulnerable member of the Leven community who an opportunist such as Weir was able to take advantage of. I would again urge the public to remain vigilant for any unusual activity or suspicious people around the homes of elderly friends, relatives or neighbours, and report any concerns to police immediately.
“I would like to thank Mary’s family for their support throughout our investigation. I hope that today’s sentence will give them a sense of closure and allow them to move forward with their lives.
Weir fleeced the much-loved 82-year old out of thousands of £s to feed her fierce heroin habit – and killed her in her own home.
Passing sentence, Judge, Michael O’Grady QC said: “I have listened with care to what has been said on your behalf. You have clearly been a troubled young woman and it maybe that some of your problems have not been of your own making. In my view nothing can diminish the callous, cruel and utterly heartless nature of this crime.
“It is beyond any mitigation.
“And this I am bound to reflect – however inadequately – in sentence.
“Accordingly I will fix the punishment part at 21 years.”
After a nine-day trial, it took the jury just 55 minutes to return unanimous guilty verdicts to charges of murder and theft against the accused. Weir (41) had been charged with killing the pensioner by repeatedly striking her on the head and body with a rolling pin or similar instrument – and of attempting to defeat the ends of justice and stealing unknown quantities of money, two rings, and Mrs Logie’s bank card or cards.
The killing shocked the community.
Mary, known to all as Rae, was a much-loved figure who thought Weir had become a friend as well as a neighbour.
She placed her trust in the woman who ultimately claimed her life.
Over 14 months, Weir stole £4000 from her to feed her heroin habit – she saw her as an easy source of money after losing he job at a solicitors’ office.
Mrs Logie had started to develop issues with her ability to cope with money, and Weir exploited it to the full in order to buy drugs.
She took the money between 2014 and early 2016. Weir denied killing Mrs Logie, stating she found her on the floor and called for help.
At her trial, Alex Prentice QC, for the prosecution, said he “had no doubt” she left the pensioner for dead, adding: “Equally, I have no doubt that, in a cold and utterly calculating way, you went about your business – seemingly as normal – for the rest of the day, intending to return in the evening and so distance yourself from what had apparently transpired in your contrived absence.
“Instead you found she was still alive. And that you could not allow. And so, as she lay defenceless, you simply finished her off.
“That is a brutal phrase but I cannot find any description more fitting. Nor can I find words to truly reflect the cruelty of what you did.”