Glasgow & West Scotland

Ex-karate champion jailed for hammer attack

A former karate champion has been jailed for carrying out a hammer attack while wearing a boiler suit, surgical gloves and balaclava.

Robert Brennan, 46, also assaulted John Reid with a knife in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, on 3 March, leaving the victim needing more than 100 stitches.

He mistakenly believed the 45-year-old was behind abuse against him.

Brennan admitted assault to the danger of life and was jailed for four years and eight months.

'Lifelong consequences'

Jailing him at the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lord Beckett told Brennan: "Your attack will have lifelong consequences... it has had a profound effect on him and his family."

The court heard claims that Brennan had suffered "a campaign of harassment" after moving into his flat in Rutherglen months before the attack.

Police were never alerted, but the court was told Brennan had contacted his local housing association.

Prosecutor Bernard Ablett said Brennan went out early on 3 March wearing a boiler suit, surgical gloves and balaclava.

He armed himself with a hammer, knife and lighter fluid and was holding a bag with duct tape and flip flops inside.

Brennan confronted Mr Reid as he was getting into his car to make his way to work.

Mr Ablett said: "Brennan looked straight at him. After a moment's hesitation, he raised the hammer and struck Mr Reid on the head.

"Mr Reid tried to push Brennan away, but he repeatedly struck out with the hammer and the knife."

Facial wounds

The court heard Brennan swore at the victim, insisting he would not be forced out of his home.

As the attack continued, Mr Reid screamed for help, leading to neighbours intervening and pinning Brennan to the ground.

The victim was taken to hospital where he required more than 100 stitches for "multiple" facial wounds which have left him with "extensive scarring".

The court heard Mr Reid has been left extremely traumatised by the attack by Brennan, who had been a Scottish Open karate champion in 1994.

Brennan's lawyer said his client had "experienced difficulties" at his flat after moving in, including having his door kicked, windows smashed and locks glued.

Allan MacLeod, defending, said Brennan was given "information" that Mr Reid had been responsible.

The advocate added: "He was motivated by his own fear.

"He appreciates that the impact (on the victim) has been devastating and that what he did was wrong."

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