St Andrews student in court over anti-freeze spiking

An American citizen left a fellow student temporarily blind and in hospital after poisoning his drink with a solvent used in paint and anti-freeze, a court has heard.
Alexander Hilton. Picture: submittedAlexander Hilton. Picture: submitted
Alexander Hilton. Picture: submitted

Alexander Hilton, now 24, spiked a bottle of red wine with methanol and encouraged fellow US national Robert Forbes to drink it on the evening of a ball for students of St Andrews University in Fife.

Mr Forbes, also now 24, later experienced extreme lethargy, headaches, confusion and the complete loss of his vision for a time after consuming the toxic drink on March 5 2011.

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Without treatment, the poison in Mr Forbes’ system would have had “life-threatening consequences”, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.

The court heard how the victim was given whisky as part of his treatment in hospital to help counter the effects of the toxin.

Hilton will be sentenced next month after today admitting a charge of assaulting Mr Forbes to his severe injury, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life.

He appeared before the court - more than four years on from the crime - after being extradited from the US on May 7 this year.