Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man admits hammer murder bid on partner in West Lothian caravan

Mosshall caravan park in Blackburn Image copyright Google

A man has admitted attempting to murder his long-term partner with a hammer, forcing her to escape from a caravan window in West Lothian.

Charles "Chuck" Strachan, 62, said after the attack on Yvonne Edwards he "presumed she was dead" and added: "I realised what I'd done. I was going to burn me and the caravan down."

It happened at Mosshall caravan park in Blackburn on 29 October last year.

He repeatedly hit her on the head with a hammer.

He then started a fire at the caravan the couple shared and assaulted a police officer as he tried to get him out of the burning accommodation.

Miss Edwards, Strachan's partner for 30 years, was later found to have suffered a skull fracture and several head wounds.

Lord Boyd of Duncansby deferred sentence on Strachan for the preparation of a background report and remanded him in custody.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice said Strachan was still drunk from the night before when he launched an unprovoked attack on the woman who was lying defenceless in bed.

"He struck her repeatedly on the head with a hammer forcing her to escape from the caravan by falling out of a window as the accused set a fire inside," said the prosecutor.

Part of the incident was captured on CCTV as neighbours went to help Miss Edwards and footage was shown to a judge at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Mr Prentice added: "She put her left hand up to try and protect herself but could feel blood pouring down her face and neck."

She tried to open a window to get away from the attacker but continued to be struck as she tried to escape before falling out of the caravan.

She crawled away from it on her hands and knees and neighbours who heard screaming went to her aid.

Mr Prentice said: "The accused then poured accelerant on a mattress and set fire to the mattress and bedding."

Strachan said during a later interview: "I can barely remember. I don't know what started it. I do remember hitting her more than once I'm afraid."

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