South Scotland

Galashiels kettle torture father and son get jail terms

High Court in Edinburgh - Crown copyright image
Image caption The High Court in Edinburgh heard Mr Anderson thought he was going to be killed

A father and son who laughed as they slashed their victim and tortured him with hot water from a kettle have been jailed for a total of 14 years.

A court heard how George Anderson, 42, was felled with blows to the head from a vodka bottle after a fight broke out.

Paul Farrell, 44, and his son Ross Gourlay, 19, admitted carrying out the attack in Galashiels in March.

Judge Lord Tyre said Farrell had taken the leading role and jailed him for eight years and Gourlay for six.

The court had previously heard how the pair had turned up uninvited to a drinking party at Mr Anderson's house in Gala Park Court, Galashiels, on 28 March.

A fight later ensued with Gourlay starting to hit Mr Anderson with a vodka bottle.

Then, as he lay down trying to protect himself from knife-wielding Farrell, he heard him tell his son to "boil the kettle."

Advocate depute John Speir, prosecuting, told the High Court in Edinburgh Mr Anderson thought he was going to be killed.

"He recalls Farrell growling as he slashed him and both Farrell and Gourlay telling him to stop screaming and laughing as they cut him and poured the kettle over him," he said.

Mr Speir said the water in the kettle was hot but not boiling.

Doctors later found Mr Anderson had suffered scalds to his chin, cheek, forehead, shoulder and arm.

After the attack, police found empty vodka bottles and lager cans in the house.

'Fuelled by alcohol'

Lawyers for both men said a "considerable amount" of alcohol had been consumed on the day of the attack.

"It was fuelled by far too much alcohol," said defence advocate Susan Duff, representing Gourlay, who said her client regretted his behaviour.

Solicitor advocate Jim Keegan QC, defending Farrell, added that his client had also been taking diazepam.

Jailing the attackers, Lord Tyre said: "I have seen pictures which portray the nature of the horrific injuries you inflicted on him and he will be permanently scarred as a result."

He told Farrell, of High Tweed Mill, King Street, Galashiels, that he had played a leading role in the assault.

"You attacked him with a knife and instructed your son to bring a kettle of boiling water," he said.

He told Gourlay, formerly of Dumbryden Gardens, Edinburgh, but currently serving another sentence in Polmont YOI: "You have a truly deplorable record for your age.

"If anything you pose a greater risk to the public, following release, than your father".

Lord Tyre also made an order extending the licence conditions of both so that they could continue to be kept under supervision after their jail terms.

Lothian and Borders Police said the sentence was a warning to those who chose to carry a knife of the consequences of their actions.

Det Sgt James Morrison, who led the inquiry, said: "This was a vicious attack upon the victim within his own home, it was frenzied and sustained, resulting in extensive injuries.

"Thankfully, officers arrived quickly on scene along with ambulance service, with those responsible being detained and prevented from inflicting fatal injuries."

Police stressed this type of crime was not common in the Borders but said anyone committing such an offence would be dealt with "robustly".

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