Ex-karate champion jailed after attacking neighbour with knife

High Court Glasgow
High Court Glasgow
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A former karate champion left a stranger needing more than 100 stitches in a case of mistaken identity.

Robert Brennan turned vigilante after claiming to have suffered months of abuse at the hands of vandals at his home.

Brennan, 46, was yesterday jailed for four years and eight months after he admitted to a charge of assaulting John Reid to the danger of his life. Judge Lord Beckett said: “Your attack will have lifelong consequences… it has had a profound effect on him and his family.”

Brennan struck months after moving into a flat in Rutherglen, near Glasgow.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Brennan had suffered “a campaign of harassment” at his home from yobs.

The police were never alerted, but the court was told Brennan had contacted his local housing association.

Prosecutor Bernard Ablett said Brennan went out early on 3 March after donning a boiler suit, surgical gloves and a balaclava. He had a hammer, knife, lighter fluid and duct tape.

At the same time, Mr Reid, 45, was heading to his car on his way to work from his home nearby. The court heard that, as he got to his vehicle, he was confronted by Brennan.

Mr Ablett said: “Brennan looked straight at him. After a moment’s hesitation, he raised the hammer and struck Mr Reid on the head.

“Mr Reid tried to push Brennan away, but he repeatedly struck out with the hammer and the knife.”

Neighbours heard his cries and raced out. They managed to drag a Brennan away and hold him on the ground.

Mr Reid was taken to hospital with “multiple” facial wounds. Mr Ablett said: “He is left scared… He struggles to sleep and frequently wakes up in sweats during the night.”

Brennan’s lawyer said he “experienced difficulties” at his flat with his door being kicked, windows smashed and his locks superglued.

Allan MacLeod went on: “He said this was a campaign of harassment against him for two months. The consequences were severe for him. He was genuinely terrified that he was going to be attacked.”

Mr MacLeod said Brennan – a Scottish karate champ in the 1990s – was given “information” that Mr Reid had been responsible.