Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Trio guilty of attack which left Alexander Ormiston with 'Elephant Man' injuries

Alexander Ormiston
Image caption Alexander Ormiston, 63, was injured at his house in Rosyth before dying in hospital two weeks later

Three men have been found guilty of abducting and assaulting a Fife businessman to his severe injury.

Brian Kennedy, 31, Paul Breslin, 41, and Ian Oliver, 26, attacked Alexander Ormiston, 63, in Rosyth, Fife, on 19 May 2011.

He died at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital on June 3 2011.

The court had heard from one witness who said the injuries were so severe Mr Ormiston was left looking like the "Elephant Man". Sentence was deferred.

The trio broke into Mr Ormiston's home because Kennedy claimed the entrepreneur owed him tens of thousands of pounds.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how they repeatedly punched him on the head and body and forced him against his will to drive to a branch of the Bank of Scotland in Leith, Edinburgh.

When he arrived, they ordered him to withdraw £5,000 from his account and then took the cash from him.

'Custodial sentence'

Mr Ormiston, who suffered from health problems, then fell seriously ill and eventually died in hospital.

All three originally faced a charge of being responsible for the culpable homicide of the businessman.

However, the jury decided there was not enough evidence available to convict them of killing Mr Ormiston.

After the verdict, judge Lord Pentland told the three men he had to defer sentence so he could obtain reports about their character.

But he warned them: "You have each been convicted of a very serious crime. It is inevitable that I will impose a substantial custodial sentence on you."

Leith Docks

Kennedy, from Glenrothes, Fife, Breslin, from Musselburgh, East Lothian, and Ian Oliver, a prisoner of HMP Shotts, denied culpable homicide.

During the trial, the court heard how Mr Ormiston owned his own haulage company which was based at Edinburgh's Leith Docks.

He was locked in a legal dispute with another haulage operator, Kennedy, who was suing him for £80,000.

However, rather than trust the legal process, Kennedy took the law into his own hands and decided to attack his rival in a bid to retrieve the cash.

Days after the assault, Mr Ormiston's employee, mechanic Brian Burns, 41, told the court that his employer had looked like the "Elephant Man".

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