Car-buyers ‘almost died’ after stabbing at seller’s house

Police at the scene of the Wardieburn assault. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Police at the scene of the Wardieburn assault. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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A man has told a court how he thought he was going to die after he was stabbed when he turned up at a house in ­Edinburgh to buy a car.

James Stewart, 46, from Aberdeen, said he and his brother Peter were set upon as they were being led into the house for a cup of tea to meet the vehicle’s seller.

James Stewart, told a jury he thought he was going to die after being stabbed in the stomach on a car buying trip to Edinburgh.  Picture: Vic Rodrick

James Stewart, told a jury he thought he was going to die after being stabbed in the stomach on a car buying trip to Edinburgh. Picture: Vic Rodrick

He said a youth suddenly spun round and aimed a punch at the left-side of his stomach.

Mr Stewart told a jury at the High Court in Livingston: “I didn’t know if I’d come back alive. I thought I was dying. I knew I had to get my brother help.”

Asked why he didn’t phone for help he claimed he couldn’t concentrate on his phone which was covered in blood. He said: “I didn’t know if I was going to die.

“I didn’t know if I was going to see my kids or anyone again. I was in a strange place. I was panicking.”

He said he saw a stockily-built male with short dark hair and a striped top running towards his brother and tussling with him but, realising he was bleeding heavily himself, went to try to get help.

As a couple he met in a nearby street called for an ambulance for him he turned round and saw his brother. He said he took “about two steps towards me” and said “they’ve got me”. “He took two more steps forward then he collapsed,” he said.

The jury heard a recording of the 999 call in which Mr Stewart is passed the phone and tells the call handler he can see “serious bleeding” from his brother.

The jury was also shown dramatic footage of the moment he collapsed in the street beside a black car parked in a street in the Wardieburn area . It is agreed evidence that Peter was stabbed through the heart and lung and would have died from his injuries without medical intervention.

Under cross-examination, Mr Stewart admitted that he and his brother were regular cannabis users.

However, despite being offered immunity from prosecution for drugs offences by the prosecution, he rejected suggestions that he and his brother had gone to Edinburgh with £6,500 to buy a kilogram of cannabis.

Ryan Ellis, 31, and a 17-year-old teenager – who can’t be named for legal reasons – deny seriously assaulting James Stewart and robbing and attempting to murder Peter Stewart in Wardieburn Street West on 8 April last
 year.

The jury heard yesterday that another witness had told police one of the accused had confessed to her that the brothers had been caught in an “ambush” to rob them of cash and a mobile phone.

The trial, before Lord ­Glennie, continues.