Scots pensioner to appeal after losing Bulgarian murder retrial

David Bell Bryson, the Scottish pensioner convicted in Bulgaria of murdering an 11-year old boy, plans to appeal his conviction after losing a retrial last month.

Mr Bryson, 75, was convicted of the 2012 murder of Stanislav Mirchov in January 2013, but successfully appealed to the Supreme Court of Cassation of Bulgaria, which ordered a retrial this year.

Mr Bryson, a former aviation mechanic who comes from Larkhall in South Lanarkshire, originally told police in Bulgaria’s Vidin region that he strangled the boy to death as an act of retaliation after he had poisoned and tortured his dog.

Novinite, a news agency based in Sofia, said his confession to officers came after he failed a lie detector test.

However, Mr Bryson withdrew the comments after being charged and entered a not guilty plea at Vidin District Court, claiming his confession was the result of hypnotism or drugging by police officers.

Last month, he was again found guilty of the “sadistic” murder, which deputy district attorney Vladislav Vlashev said was committed “in an unusually cruel manner”.

Novinite reports “suspicions” that the boy might also have been abused sexually, but said there was “little conclusive evidence”.

Mr Bryson was sentenced to 18 years in prison at the end of both trials. He has since been ordered to make a final payment of 100,000 leva (around £36,470) to the boy’s family, making up a total of 200,000 leva.

Mr Bryson’s lawyer has lodged his intention to appeal the second conviction in the Court of Appeal in Sofia.

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