Man jailed for Greenock cleaver and axe attempted murder

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A man has been jailed for 11 years for attempting to murder a woman with a meat cleaver as she waited for a taxi.

Robert Warnock, 23, struck 37-year-old Lynsey O'Neill on the neck during the attack in Greenock on 28 June last year.

Warnock, who was also carrying an axe, then attacked her partner Scott Mitchell, 43.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Gordon Liddle said Warnock was "a particularly dangerous man".

Warnock had denied the charges but was found guilty of attempting to murder Ms O'Neill by striking on the neck to her severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of her life.

He was also convicted of seriously wounding Mr Mitchell during the incident on Greenock's Belville Street.

'Brutal and cowardly'

The judge told him: "There was evidence that you were directed 'to do them'. The evidence was that you readily complied with a brutal and cowardly attack on them."

He said that Ms O'Neill sustained a wound stretching from one ear round to the centre of her neck.

The victim was placed in an induced coma in hospital while her wounds were treated.

Warnock has previously been jailed for serious assault and crimes involving knives and a baseball bat.

Defence counsel Matt Jackson QC said that Warnock has been drinking since he was aged 12, but did not regard alcohol as a problem.

He had also started using cannabis when he was 12 but stopped three years later because he thought it was making him paranoid.

Mr Jackson said a full background report had been prepared on Warnock and by the age of 11 he was under supervision because of neglect.

He added that Warnock, a prisoner in Low Moss jail, had expressed remorse and a willingness to break the cycle of offending.

Passing sentence, the judge ordered that Warnock should be kept under supervision for a further three year period after his imprisonment.