TWO violent thugs were today convicted of beating a 48-year-old Renfrewshire dad to death after ambushing him outside his flat.

Stephen O'Donnell and Robert Muir, both 30, murdered George Calvert by punching and kicking him and stamping on his head in Glen Street, Paisley, on March 19 last year.

Mr Calvert died from a massive brain injury just hours after the brutal attack.

The High Court in Glasgow heard he suffered a total of 63 injuries – 26 of them to his head and neck.

At the time, his attackers were both on Community Payback Orders – O'Donnell for drink-driving and driving while disqualified and Muir for an assault with a bottle.

Prosecutor Graeme Jessop told the court: “They both had appointments for the Community Payback Orders that morning but were sent away.”

Both men then headed to O'Donnell's flat, where they sat drinking, before murdering dad-of-one Mr Calvert that afternoon.

Judge Lady Rae told the pair: “This was a brutal killing of a defenceless man while you were both under the influence of drink. That is no excuse whatsoever.

“Both of you were on Community Payback Orders. You were obviously not taking them very seriously.”

The court heard that O'Donnell, who was in a relationship with 19-year-old Kirsteen Templeton, feared Mr Calvert would tell her jealous ex-boyfriend Robert Cowan about them.

Before heading to Mr Calvert's flat, O'Donnell told his friend Muir: "George saw me and her walking about and I wouldn't be surprised if he tells Robert Cowan."

Muir replied: “He'll no' be saying f*** all to any c***,” before adding: "Don't worry, I'll back you 110 per cent.”

Jurors were told the sound of the horrific beating and Mr Calvert whimpering was heard by people in neighbouring flats.

The pair left Mr Calvert dying outside his home and fled.

Minutes afterwards, O'Donnell boasted to Ms Templeton: “We've just done George in.”

O'Donnell, who lived in the same block of flats, tried to fool police by telling them he had just arrived home and found the street "like a CSI parking lot.”

His accomplice Muir asked Ms Templeton to lie for them and say they were in O'Donnell's flat all day.

They were brought to justice because their clothes and shoes were covered in droplets of Mr Calvert's blood.

Muir's handprint in Mr Calvert's blood was found on a wall close to where the victim lay.

Mr Jessop said: “This was a concerted attack, a vicious attack and a sustained attack on a man who was ambushed at his front door as he came back home. It was unprovoked.”

Both killers will be jailed for life when they appear in court again next month.

Lady Rae deferred sentence until then for background reports. She will determine how long they must serve before being eligible for parole.

Neither accused showed any emotion as the verdicts were returned.

They had both earlier offered pleas of guilty to the lesser charge of culpable homicide but these were rejected by prosecutors. 

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