Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Father and son jailed for sledgehammer murder bid in Bathgate

Stephen Sangster jnr and Stephen Sangster snr Image copyright Ciaran Donnelly

A father and son have been jailed for a total of 20 years after carrying out a murder bid using a sledgehammer, a shovel and a 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.

The Sangsters were each jailed for 10 years at the High Court in Glasgow.

Judge Lord Glennie also ordered them to be monitored in the community for three years after their release.

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 last month.

'Good fortune'

Lord Glennie told them: "You were both convicted of launching an attack on a defenceless man in his own home.

"You burst in and committed a vicious attack. He sustained horrendous injuries and it is only by good fortune he didn't die.

"Whether this was the result of drugs or a perceived slight by a female in your family, there is no excuse for this behaviour."

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.

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," said the prosecutor.

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

Mr Mackay said that the victim had known the pair "for some years".

The Sangsters, from Armadale, both have previous convictions for assault and possessing weapons.

The court was told the Sangsters continue to protest their innocence.

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