A VIOLENT thug who battered a 91-year-old army veteran to death has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Scott Melville will spend a minimum of 26 years behind bars after he was found guilty of murdering Leamington pensioner Sydney Pavier last year.
Mr Pavier was found badly beaten and lying unconscious on his bed by relatives who called to see him on the morning of September 16.
The door to his Gordon Street home had been kicked in and the house ransacked.
The partially-sighted pensioner battled for six weeks until October 28 when he died as a result of his injuries at Warwick Hospital.
Melville, of no fixed abode, had previously pleaded guilty to robbery involving the theft of a mobile phone on September 14 and to burglary at the Next Stop newsagents in Victoria Terrace on September 16.
And before Mr Pavier’s death, the 38-year-old was charged with burglary and causing grievous bodily harm in connection with the incident.
Speaking following the two-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, detective chief inspector, James Essex said: “This sentence reflects the violence inflicted by Melville, but it cannot in any way equate for taking the life of a frail old gentleman who had proudly maintained his independence despite his failing eyesight.
“Sydney served in the Army and worked as a carpenter in Leamington until he retired some years ago.
“Why Melville chose to break into Sydney’s home; why he then attacked this defenceless, partially-sighted frail old man, we cannot know.”
Det Ch Ins Essex added: “Sydney was a man of modest means, with little of value in his home and although in later years he seldom went out, he kept himself up-to-date on what was happening in the world through his radio.
“Intensely proud of his independence, he had resolutely refused the help of carers, and had only reluctantly accepted some assistance from relatives when his failing eyesight meant he could no longer cook his meals properly.”
Relatives of Mr Pavier have expressed their gratitude to Warwickshire Police while Judge Burbridge QC also commended them for their professional pursuit of justice in the case.
Sydney Pavier, 91, died in October last year following a savage attack by Scott Pavier. (s)