The officer in charge of the brutal David Miller murder case said the public should not feel sorry for his killers, despite their personal tragedies and substance addictions.
Michael Hallett, Richard Atkins and Zena Kane, were handed life sentences yesterday for killing 56-year-old Mr Miller at his home in Patterdale Walk along with a fourth man, Ian Cuthbertson, 51, who was found guilty of manslaughter.
The court heard how all three were of no fixed abode and in the grip of alcohol addiction.
Hallett, in particular, had a troubled past, witnessing his wife die and both his children commit suicide.
He had developed a psychological condition and the medication he was taking had greatly improved his behaviour since his arrest last year.
But despite the various mitigating factors put forward for the defendants, Det Insp Mills added: “I don’t think there is any time for sympathy for the people who commit these sorts of actions.”
The bloody scenes at Mr Miller’s home on the morning after his murder made it particularly distressing for the officers involved.
The detective said: “No murder case is easy, but the level of injuries they inflicted on David Miller was horrendous.
“They were utterly depraved in what they did to him.
“Humiliating him and attempting to dismember him.
“The things they did were despicable.”
During the trial, the defendants made accusations of a sexual nature against Mr Miller.
But Det Insp Mills said the story was concocted in order to attempt to justify their actions.
The trio, who had been staying at David Miller’s flat at the time of the murder, even asked other members of the homeless community for advice on how to dispose of the 56-year-old’s body.
“Afterwards they tried to smear his character,” said the detective. “They tried to almost make excuses for what they had done .”
The detective reserved special praise for the street drinkers who came forward as witnesses in the police investigation.
“I am really grateful, we had a lot of people who wouldn’t ordinarily talk to the police come forward," he said.
“They were coming forward in the immediate aftermath. I am really grateful to them.”