Glasgow & West Scotland

John Fergusson jailed for life for John Wright murder

A man has been jailed for life after being convicted of murder over a brutal hammer attack in Renfrewshire.

John Fergusson, 43, battered 51-year-old John Wright with the weapon at a flat in Chestnut Place, Johnstone, on 29 November last year.

Fergusson's trial heard how he hit Mr Wright 15 times after the victim had been "sticking up" for Lynn Pearson.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Fergusson was told he must serve at least 16 years in prison.

Temporary judge John Morris QC said: "A jury unanimously convicted you of what was, on any view, the brutal murder of a defenceless man. You inflicted 15 blows with a deadly weapon."

An earlier trial at the High Court in Glasgow heard how victim Mr Wright was found lying dead on a couch in the flat on 30 November 2012.

'Alcohol co-operative'

Neither Fergusson nor Ms Pearson, who were in the house, has a clear recollection of what had happened.

Defence QC Gary Allan told the High Court in Edinburgh: "The trio were in what could be described as an alcohol co-operative in that whoever had money bought drink.

"The circumstances of this drunken event are, in many respects, far from clear."

The lawyer added that Fergusson's own recollection was "entirely stunted" by the alcohol he had consumed.

Judge Morris noted that it was ironic that at the time of the murder it was Mr Wright's turn to buy the drink.

He told Fergusson: "It is very sad that alcohol addiction has turned you from a responsible working man into a drunken killer."

The earlier trial heard how Fergusson had tried to dodge the blame by asking Ms Pearson to say that Mr Wright had arrived at the flat already injured.

But when questioned by police she "got honest" and told them Mr Wright was bleeding heavily as Fergusson hit him with a hammer.

"I was just shouting 'stop it, stop it'," she told the trial.

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