Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Teenager guilty of Edinburgh attempted murder

James Stewart Image copyright Vic Rodrick
Image caption James Stewart gave evidence during the trial at the High Court in Livingston

A teenager has been found guilty of attempting to murder an Aberdeen man who had planned to buy drugs from him in Edinburgh.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, knifed Peter Stewart, 44, through the heart and also stabbed his brother James Stewart, 46.

The pair had tried to buy cannabis and a car but were ambushed by the youth on 8 April 2015 in Wardieburn Street West.

Ryan Ellis, 31, was earlier cleared of the attempted murder of Peter Stewart.

Mr Ellis had also denied stabbing James Stewart during the incident.

The Crown withdrew the charges against Mr Ellis on Wednesday during a trial at the High Court in Livingston.

The 17-year-old was was unanimously found guilty by the jury of robbing Peter Stewart of his mobile phone and attempting to murder him by stabbing him to the danger of his life.

He was also found guilty of assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement of James Stewart by striking him on the body with a knife.

Lord Glennie told the teenager, who has no previous convictions: "You've been convicted by this jury of both charges including a charge of attempted murder.

"I can't sentence you now because I require to obtain a social work report about you before I can consider what the appropriate sentence is.

"I think you should be in no doubt that a custodial sentence is almost inevitable."

He adjourned the case until Thursday 17 March at the High Court in Edinburgh and revoked bail, remanding the accused in custody until then.

The jury heard that Peter Stewart and his brother had driven down to the Wardieburn housing estate in Edinburgh with £6,500 in cash to buy 5.5 kilos of "rocky" - a type of cannabis resin - and a used car to take the drugs back to Aberdeen.

They were unaware that the man arranging the drug deal was an inmate in Shotts prison on a smuggled mobile phone for which his nephew had bought credit at a local shop that day.

The brothers became suspicious when their rendezvous with the dealer's nephew - the accused - was changed at the last minute.

Instead of meeting him in a public cafe as they wanted, they were asked to meet him in the street so he could direct them to a house where the drugs were said to be.

'Pre-planned ambush'

When they followed him into a close in a block of flats in Wardieburn, the youth stabbed James in the side then, as Peter tried to defend his brother, knifed him through the heart.

It was claimed in court the incident was a pre-planned ambush by relatives of the drug dealer to rob the brothers of their cash.

However, Peter had left the money in the boot of his car for safety, claiming he wanted to inspect the cannabis before handing over the cash. The money was later recovered by police.

The jury heard that Peter "died" three times as ambulance paramedics and doctors at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary attempted to save his life.

He spent a night in the intensive care unit before being moved to a high-dependency unit from which he was discharged seven days later.

He has been left unable to walk without the help of crutches after the arteries in his legs collapsed and is waiting for an operation to have new arteries grafted onto his heart to restore the blood supply.

His brother James had a stab wound measuring 4cm by 1.5cm which was closed with steri-strips and was released after being kept in overnight for observation.

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