A KILLER brutally murdered his friend – then left him tied up under a pile of rubbish in his Knightswood.

Ross Nicholson attacked Brian Martin last November after the victim apparently made a comment about a relative sending him into a rage.

Brian had a bag pulled over his head, his hands bound before being set upon with a broken table leg and a knife. Nicholson, 37, later lied to Brian's sister that he had not seen her 34 year-old brother.

After days of desperately trying to contact him, she called in police before the grim find of Brian's mutilated corpse in his flat in Knightswood.

Nicholson was later held – detectives went on to find he had Brian's phone that his sister had tried to reach him on.

The thug – who pleaded guilty to murder - was today jailed for a minimum 14 years at the High Court in Glasgow.

A judge told Nicholson that he had carried out a “sustained and brutal” attack.

Brian was described as a “quiet person” who was “not confrontational”.

He and Nicholson lived at the same block of flats in the city's Lincoln Avenue.

They were friends despite only knowing each other a few months.

The court heard Brian was last seen alive in the early hours of November 5.

He was clocked on CCTV going into the lift with Nicholson.

Prosecutors stated the murder occurred between that day and November 7 at Brian's flat.

Advocate depute Bernard Ablett explained: “At some point, Nicholson placed a plastic bag over Brian's head and tied his hands behind his back.

“He repeatedly hit him with a broken table leg and struck him with a knife.”

Brian's sister Kelly Martin – who was “close” to him - tried contacting her brother on November 5.

Mr Ablett: “On each occasion, Nicholson answered the phone. She found this strange.”

Nicholson went on to claim he had not seen Brian since that morning.

Kelly repeatedly tried to get hold of her brother over the next couple of days, but got no response.

Nicholson meantime lied to other people where Brian was.

He initially told one person his victim was “with a girl”.

A visitor later turned up at Brian's door. Nicholson was still inside the flat and claimed – through the letterbox – that Brian was not in.

On November 7, Brian's worried sister alerted the police.

The court heard she had again tried texting her brother – and received “read receipts” showing they had appeared to have been looked at.

But, when she called, the phone appeared to be turned off.

Officers then got into Brian's flat and immediately spotted blood.

Mr Ablett: “They entered and found Brian lying on the living room floor with his hands tied behind his back.

“There were obvious signs of a disturbance.”

The prosecutor added: “CID officers...noted that the upper half of Brian's body was covered with sofa cushions and the contents of a rubbish bin.”

Brian had suffered multiple injuries – three of the major blood vessels in his neck had been severed.

He had a number of stab wounds including one so forceful it had gone through his skull.

Blood-stained table legs were also found in the flat.

Nicholson was initially treated as a witness and claimed two mystery men had made threats to Brian claiming he was “dead”.

But, his flat was later searched and officers found Brian's Nokia phone. They also discovered a pair of bloodied trainers.

Thomas Ross, defending, said Nicholson “deeply regrets the pain and distress” he has caused Brian's family.

Explaining the lead-up to the killing, Mr Ross went on: “There was an argument between them.

“Brian Martin made reference of a relative of Mr Nicholson that he [the accused] had a deep emotional attachment to.

“He accepts that he then completely lost control.”

Jailing Nicholson for life, Lady Scott told him: “This was a sustained and brutal murder.

“You tied him up rendering him defenceless. He was found lying dead under the rubbish that you covered him with.”