South Scotland

Knifeman who attacked woman in bed is jailed for 12 years

Ian McGregor Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Ian McGregor carried out the attack which was described as "cowardly and vicious"

A man who stabbed a woman 40 times as she lay in bed has been jailed for 12 years.

A judge told Ian McGregor, 30, that his frenzied attack on Elspeth Burns, 57, at her Kelso home in October 2016 had been "cowardly and vicious".

The High Court in Glasgow heard that McGregor had been asked to leave the flat for telling an offensive joke but later returned and knifed his victim.

He was convicted after trial of attempting to murder Ms Burns.

Sentencing McGregor, Lord Summers told him: "You have been convicted of attempted murder.

"Your victim suffered multiple stab wounds to her body and throat. She was fortunate to live.

"She was alone and in bed when you carried out this cowardly and vicious attack."

'Quite offensive'

McGregor left the flat after telling the joke, but returned later and attempted to kill Ms Burns as she lay in bed suffering from a migraine.

She suffered a punctured lung and an injury near her carotid artery in the attack.

McGregor had denied the attempted murder and claimed he was elsewhere when Ms Burns was repeatedly stabbed, but he was unanimously convicted.

He was also found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by trying to destroy evidence.

Unemployed McGregor said in evidence that the atmosphere in the flat "seemed okay" but accepted he had been asked to leave after telling a joke that was "quite offensive".

'Unprovoked attack'

McGregor told defence counsel David Nicholson he had been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and suffered "crippling social anxiety".

He had eight pages of previous convictions including serious assault, assault, drugs offences and breach of the peace.

The court was told that McGregor continued to maintain his innocence.

Following the sentencing, Det Insp Keith Mackay said: "This was a vicious and unprovoked attack on a woman in her own home that left her fighting for her life.

"I am satisfied that our robust investigation led to Ian McGregor's prompt arrest and I would like to thank the community too for their co-operation and information that assisted our inquiries."

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