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‘I killed my own dad’ – Man admits beating father to death with hammer at Perth flat

Craig Nixon killed his father Ian Menzies at his Scott Street home before escaping to London.

Craig Nixon, right, admitted murdering his dad Ian Menzies.
Craig Nixon, right, admitted murdering his dad Ian Menzies.

A man has admitted bludgeoning his father to death with a hammer at his home in Perth.

Craig Nixon murdered dad Ian Menzies, 55, after a two day drink and drugs binge.

The 38-year-old then escaped to London.

He later claimed he had heard voices in his head, telling him his father was trying to kill him.

Nixon appeared at the High Court in Glasgow and admitted assaulting and murdering Mr Menzies at his Scott Street flat on June 3 2021.

Craig Nixon. Image: Police Scotland

The former window cleaner, whose mother was murdered when he was six years old, was jailed for life and told he must serve at least 19 years behind bars.

‘Grief and anguish’

Judge Lady Stacey told Nixon: “You have pled guilty to the murder of your father.

“Nothing I can say or do can take away the grief and anguish that is felt by his sisters, his daughter and other friends and family.

“The victim impact statements make clear the terrible anxiety and all-pervading sense of loss they felt and will continue to feel.

Ian Menzies was murdered by his son Craig Nixon.

“You have to live for the rest of your days with the knowledge you took your own father’s life in a violent attack, which was absolutely disgraceful.”

She added: “You have accepted you have to take responsibility for what you have done.

“The sentence for murder, fixed by parliament, is life imprisonment.”

Family tensions

Prosecutor Michael Macintosh said Nixon had been estranged from his father for most of his childhood.

He was raised by his grandparents in London.

In recent years, Nixon got back in touch with his father.

He moved to Perth in 2019 and occasionally stayed at his dad’s ground floor flat in the city centre.

“The relationship between father and son was a difficult one,” said Mr Macintosh.

“Family members said there were tensions and falling outs between them.”

Dirty clothes

In the days leading up to the murder, Nixon referred himself to Murray Royal Hospital.

He complained he was in a “low mood” and told staff he had started hearing voices in his head and had taken to carrying a hammer.

Mr Macintosh said there was no evidence of psychotic illness but Nixon was diagnosed as having a personality disorder.

Murray Royal Hospital

“While he was in hospital, Mr Menzies brought in clothes for him,” the advocate depute said.

“A development worker for Churches Action for the Homeless (CATH) – an organisation with which Mr Nixon had involvement – received a call from Mr Nixon on June 2, while he was in hospital.

“She described him as ranting about his father giving him dirty clothes.

“He said he wanted to batter him.”

Nixon discharged himself from hospital, against advice, later that day.

Last sighting

At about 7pm he was seen on CCTV walking through the city centre with his father, stopping to buy drink and takeaway food.

Just before 10am the next day, Mr Menzies’ daughter Cheryl messaged Nixon, asking about her dad.

Nixon told her he was “dead to the world” and sent her a video of him sleeping.

Mr Macintosh said: “That video represents the last sighting of Mr Menzies alive.

“There was no CCTV of him ever re-emerging from the flat.”

Cocaine binge

At 1.30pm, Nixon left the property alone and withdrew cash from an ATM.

He spent the afternoon with a friend, Dionne Mills, taking cocaine and drinking alcohol.

Nixon told her he had been up all night the night before, taking drugs.

They were later joined by another man, James Townsley.

Police at the Scott Street flat in Pert where Mr Menzies was found

”The three took cocaine together,” Mr Macintosh told the court.

“The accused went out and got more cocaine, which the three continued to consume.”

He was seen on CCTV making cash withdrawals using his father’s bank card.

At one point in the evening, Nixon argued with his father over the phone.

Mr Townsley could not hear what was said but later described the conversation to police as “shouting and bawling.”

In the early hours, Nixon and Mr Townsley left Ms Mills’ flat in the same taxi.

“The accused was dropped outside Mr Menzies’ flat,” said Mr Macintosh.

“Mr Townsley describes Mr Nixon’s demeanour changing.

“He appeared to become nervous and his face went white.”

Fled to London

The court heard that at 5.19am on June 4 – three hours after he had gone into the flat – Nixon called for a taxi.

He left the property with a new set of clothes and was seen on CCTV, carrying two large holdalls.

He took a train from Perth to Glasgow Queen Street, then got another train from Glasgow Central to London Euston, arriving later that afternoon.

Craig Nixon. Image: Facebook

Mr Macintosh said: “The accused got in touch with friends in London and asked to stay with them.”

He continued using his dad’s bank card to withdraw money, the court heard.

Ms Mills called him and asked to pay for drugs from the night before.

Nixon told her not to worry.

He said he was in London and would be back in about a month.

In the early hours of June 7, Gary Stewart – a friend of Nixon’s – received a text from him asking if he had seen his father.

Mr Stewart phoned Nixon, who told him: “I’ve done something bad to my dad.

“I’ve hit him with a hammer. I’ve taken his bank card and spent all of his money, and I’m away back to London.”

Thinking he was drunk and babbling, Mr Stewart hung up and did not answer him when he tried to phone back.

‘It’s gonna be huge’

At 2am, a former partner of Mr Menzies received a text from Nixon.

“You heard?” he wrote.

He added: “The pr*ck asked for it. He tried to go for me, but I was too quick.”

Asked what he was talking about, Nixon told her: “I can’t say, but it’s gonna be huge when it comes out. Please don’t grass me up.”

When he called her, he told her he had been acting in self defence.

Nixon then sent a text to Cheryl Menzies: “I’m sorry sis xxx.”

Mr Stewart later contacted police and told them he was unable to reach Mr Menzies.

Body found on living room sofa

Police went to Mr Menzies’ flat at about 10am on June 7 and noticed blood on the living room curtains.

They forced entry into the communal stairwell and then into the property itself.

“There was a strong smell of decay,” Mr Macintosh said.

“As they went into the living room, they found the remains of Mr Menzies in a seated position on the sofa, facing the doorway.

Tributes left outside Mr Menzies’ flat

“It was immediately apparent Mr Menzies was dead.

“His upper clothing was saturated in dried blood.”

The advocate depute said it was likely that Mr Menzies had no opportunity to defend himself and did not move from the sofa while he was being attacked.

The flat was locked down and forensic teams moved in.

They found blood spatter in and around the bathroom sink, with one of Nixon’s fingerprints on the cold tap.

Police searched the property but could not find the murder weapon.

A post mortem revealed Mr Menzies died from blunt force trauma caused by multiple hammer blows to the head and face.


After seeing police outside the flat, Ms Mills phoned Nixon on June 8.

She said she did not want to be the bearer of bad news.

Nixon interrupted: “Yes, it was me who killed him.”

Another witness contacted Nixon after she had heard what had happened.

He asked her if she wanted to know Mr Menzies’ last words, stating: “He asked me to stop. He begged like a dog.”


On June 9, Nixon went to stay with another friend in London.

He arrived with the same black holdalls with which he had left his father’s flat.

Nixon departed the next day, leaving the bags behind.

He was arrested at 7.50am by officers who had been tracking the use of Mr Menzies’ bank card.

Craig Nixon at his mother’s grave.

While in custody, Nixon was heard by officers talking about voices in his head.

He added: “I can’t believe what I did. I killed my own dad.

“If only he didn’t move that hammer.

“I went for a pi** and when I was in the toilet, the voices tried to convince me my dad was trying to kill me.

“I tried to fight them but when I went back to the lounge I saw my dad move a hammer and that was it – I was convinced he was going to kill me.”

He added: “My family are calling me a murderer.”

The holdalls were seized by police. They contained Nixon’s clothes, soaked in his father’s blood.

No memory of murder

Gary Allan KC, defending, said: “Nothing I can say today can detract from the horror of this situation.”

His client had no memory of the murder, he said.

“He remembers a row and his father putting a hammer on the table.

“His recollection after that is virtually nil.”

Mr Allan said: “Expressions of remorse seem so inadequate.

“But he knows that saying sorry may be all that he can do.

“He recognises the hurt and anguish he has caused to members of his family will have been extraordinary.

“If he could turn back time, he would.”


A psychiatric report prepared for the court noted Nixon’s “difficult” childhood.

His parents separated when he was one year old.

He live with his mother Diane McInally until she was murdered in 1991, when he was just six.

Her body was found dumped in woodland at Pollock Park. She had been beaten and strangled to death.

Two men were charged in connection with the death, but were never brought to trial.

Nixon with a tattoo tribute to his mother. Image: Facebook

Nixon lived with his grandparents in London until they died when he was about 19.

He got into drink and drugs at an early age and his behaviour at school deteriorated.

He left without qualifications but he got work as a window cleaner.

The court heard Nixon had been in a relationship and he has children of his own.

In 2017, Nixon told the Daily Record that the two men charged for his mother’s murder “were just dogsbodies whose names were given to the police by those higher up to deflect attention from them.”

He added: “My mum knew something that certain people wanted to keep secret.

“I’m ready to go to the police and tell them what I know.

“I believe there’s enough new evidence for them to reopen the inquiry.”

Family tribute

In a statement released at the time of his death, Mr Menzies’ family said: “Ian was the best dad, grandad and brother in the world.

“He was caring, respected and loved dearly by friends and family.”

The statement continued: “Words cannot express how sorely he will be missed.

“As you can understand, this is a traumatic time for us as a family.”

Relatives who attended at the high court declined to comment.

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