Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Ian Macdonald jailed for stabbing 86-year-old in Edinburgh

Gylemuir Road, Edinburgh Image copyright Google
Image caption The incident happened in Gylemuir Road

A man who admitted stabbing an 86-year-old in the neck as he walked home from a supermarket in Edinburgh has been jailed for six years.

Ian Macdonald, 55, said "I am very sorry about this" before severing Eric Martin's jugular vein in the attack.

After the stabbing on Gylemuir Road on 1 December 2014, Macdonald then said: "I shouldn't have done that."

Lady Wise said: "It was only through extreme good fortune and expert medical attention he has survived the attack."

The judge at the High Court in Edinburgh said it was "very troubling" given the absence of any understanding or explanation of why the crime occurred.

She told Macdonald she took into account that he had shown considerable remorse, but she had to impose a substantial period of imprisonment.

She said he would have been jailed for nine years, but for his guilty plea to attempted murder.

Permanent disfigurement

The court heard Macdonald appeared very calm after repeatedly stabbing Mr Martin who suffered a severed jugular vein in his neck.

Lady Wise was told Macdonald did not suffer from any mental disorder and offered no explanation for the attack.

He repeatedly struck him on the body with a knife to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life.

Advocate depute Lisa Gillespie said at the time of the assault Mr Martin, a retired engraver, was in good health and was fit and active.

A woman resident looked out her window and saw Mr Martin lying on the ground and Macdonald walking up and down with his hands behind his back. He appeared "blank and emotionless".

She asked Macdonald what had happened to the victim and he also told her that he had stabbed him.

A doctor was concerned by his behaviour, passive appearance and calm description of events and called in a consultant psychiatrist.

Unemployed Macdonald, who lived alone in Gylemuir Road, proceeded to give a similar account to the psychiatrist who found no signs of mental illness.

Mr Martin was treated at hospital for wounds to his neck and chest. The severed ends of the jugular vein were tied to stop bleeding. He was let out of hospital nine days later.

Defence solicitor advocate Brian Gilfedder told the court: "It is a very unusual and perplexing crime committed with no motivation whatsoever, or reason for that matter."

He said that Macdonald was at "a total loss" to understand why he committed the offence.

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