Chirnside man jailed over brutal murder attempt

Beech Avenue in Galashiels.
Beech Avenue in Galashiels.
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A man has been jailed for carrying out a brutal murder attempt by repeatedly stamping on his victim’s head and wounding him with a knife.

Barry Smart, 34, launched that attack on Michael Ledgerwood at a house at Langlee in Galashiels.

Mr Ledgerwood, 36, said that when he turned up at the address in Beech Avenue accompanied by another man, Smart was there with others but “seemed pretty much OK”.

However, at one point he turned around and was suddenly hit on the back of the head by Smart, he told the High Court in Edinburgh.

He said: “I went straight to the floor. He started stamping on me. That’s when my memory went a wee bit hazy.”

Mr Ledgerwood said that Smart was stamping on his head and side.

“It was about three or four times until I was knocked out. He obviously kept on stamping until I was knocked out. I was lying flat out,” he said.

“I can sort of remember someone saying ‘he has had enough. He has had enough, Barry’.”

He said that after the attack he was helped to a car and taken to the Borders General Hospital at Melrose.

Mr Ledgerwood said: “I was really dazed. I knew I’d had a kicking, but I wasn’t aware of my face.”

Advocate depute Graeme Jessop asked him what was wrong with his face and he replied: “It had been slashed open twice – down my face and my neck across my throat and windpipe.” He was then transferred to St John’s Hospital in Livingston, West Lothian, to have stitches and sutures put in.

The left-hand side of his face is now numb following the attack, the court heard.

Smart, of Crosshill at Chirnside in Berwickshire, had denied attempting to murder Mr Ledgerwood on December 12 last year but was convicted of that offence by a jury last week.

During the assault, he repeatedly stamped on Mr Ledgerwood’s head and body and repeatedly struck him to the head and neck with a knife to his severe injury and to the danger of his life.

Mr Jessop told jurors that forensic science evidence of blood-staining on Smart’s clothes and shoes contributed to showing that Smart was involved in the assault.

Defence counsel Sean Templeton told the court that Smart had not been to jail before.

Mr Jessop told the judge that Smart did have previous convictions, some from courts in England.

Trial judge Lord Stephen Woolman remanded Smart in custody and deferred sentence for the preparation of a background report.

He is due to be sentenced next month at the High Court in Glasgow.