Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Father and son guilty of 'ferocious' murder bid

Stephen Sangster jnr and Stephen Sangster snr Image copyright Ciaran Donnelly
Image caption The attack carried out by Stephen Sangster jnr and his father, also called Stephen, was described as "ferocious"

A father and son have been found guilty of attempting to murder a man using a spade, axe, mallet, bat and knife.

Stephen Sangster senior and his son Stephen junior carried out the attack on Fraser Winton, 41, at a house in Bathgate, West Lothian.

Mr Winton suffered a fractured skull, vertebra and forearm and multiple wounds during the assault.

Prosecutors at the High Court in Edinburgh described it as "a ferocious and sustained attack".

Sangster senior and junior had denied attempting to murder Mr Winton at an address in Owen Stone Street on 31 August 2014, but were convicted by a jury.

'He has to die'

The assault began when three men, including the Sangsters, rushed into the flat armed with weapons and the father struck the victim on the head with the sledgehammer.

The court heard that Mr Winton was repeatedly struck and slashed and suffered potentially life-threatening injuries.

As he was being attacked, a woman threw herself over the top of Mr Winton and pleaded: "Don't kill him. Please don't kill him."

During the attack the older Sangster said: "Let's go. We have done him. We have done him."

But his 24-year-old son took the Stanley knife from an accomplice and ground the weapon into his victim, shouting at his father: "He has to die. He has to die. He knows too much."

The victim told the court that Sangster junior had been grinding the knife into the back of his legs.

'Sustained attack'

Advocate depute Alan Mackay told the court: "This was a ferocious and sustained attack carried out on an unarmed man by three individuals, two of whom were the accused.

"The three who took part arrived armed with weapons. They arrived together and went away together.

"This has all the hallmarks of an organised and concerted assault by these men."

Mr Mackay pointed out that the victim had known the pair "for some years". He said Mr Winton had suffered "a very, very serious attack on that evening".

The Sangsters, from Armadale, West Lothian, were later identified as the perpetrators by a witness at an identification parade.

After the verdict, the court heard that both father and son had previous convictions for assault and possession of weapons.

The pair had been on bail but the trial judge, Lord Glennie, remanded them in custody following the jury's decision and called for background reports ahead of sentencing next month.

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