Highlands & Islands

Man who attacked US tourist granted jail term hearing

Marty Layman-Mendonca
Image caption Marty Layman-Mendonca had been on her third trip to Scotland

A man given a life sentence for attacking a tourist who later died has been granted a hearing over the minimum length of his sentence.

Colin Ross, 40, was found guilty of attempted murder following a frenzied attack on US teacher Marty Layman-Mendonca in July 2006.

A case review argued the jail term of at least 20 years was excessive.

Lord Clarke, sitting with Lord Menzies and Lady Dorrian, agreed that the case should go to a full hearing.

Image caption Colin Ross was sentenced to at least 20 years in jail in December 2006

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission earlier decided the punishment part of 20 years was excessive and referred it to the High Court.

Ms Layman-Mendonca was hiking on the Great Glen Way, a few miles south of Inverness, in July 2006, when she was attacked by Ross.

He beat her with a metal pipe and boulder.

The primary school teacher was left in a coma and after three months in hospital in Inverness she was flown back to the US but died a month later.

Ross, formerly of Waterloo Place, Inverness, had been freed from an earlier three-year prison sentence imposed after he attacked a female German holidaymaker near Cawdor Castle.

He was on the sex offenders register and under supervision and subject to an order banning him from approaching women at the time of the attack on Ms Layman-Mendonca.

Ross's case was referred back to appeal judges by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission which looks at alleged miscarriages of justice.

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