Attack victim hid false teeth in van as clue

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A TORTURE victim hid his false teeth to leave a trail for police after he was abducted and beaten at gunpoint, a court has heard.

Mark Morris said he believed he was going to die after being savagely beaten by a gang of up to 15 men and wanted to leave his false teeth as a clue to lead police to his body.

Mr Morris told a jury at the High Court in Perth his car was rammed off the road before he was attacked by a gang with guns, axes, hammers, screwdrivers and metal poles.

He said he was dragged by the arms from his own vehicle into the back of a Transit van where he was pinned to the floor by a number of men.

Mr Morris then described how the gang stabbed him and hit him with hammers before pouring petrol on him and trying to force him to drink it.

He said the gang included his drug dealer, Dean Buchanan. Mr Morris had driven from Manchester to West Lothian to meet him so he could collect £20,000 in cash.

He arranged to meet at Tesco in Bathgate because it was a public place, but was lured to Buchanan’s home where the gang appeared, with Buchanan wielding a sawn-off shotgun.

“I got hit by another car head-on. I went into a ditch from the impact. I heard voices and saw ten or 15 males running at the car holding poles and axes.

“Every window in the car exploded from being attacked. An axe came through the windscreen and through the roof.”

He said he was dragged into the back of the Transit van and pinned to the floor before being tortured.

“I was in and out of consciousness,” he said. “They said they were going to tie me to a tree and cut my legs off.”

He broke down as he told the court that one of the men, who were wearing hoodies, stole his trainers and then pulled off his wedding ring. He said: “Someone had a handgun and smashed me on the temple.”

He said he took out his two false teeth and tried to hide them under a sheet of plywood on the floor of the van.

“I tried to hide them because I thought I was going to die. I was hoping that someone would report the commotion outside Dean’s house,” he said.

Buchanan, 33, of Whitelaw Drive, Bathgate, and Fraser Winton, 37, of Whitburn Road, Bathgate, deny all the charges against them, including attacking Mr Morris to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life.

Buchanan denies three further charges relating to the supply of cannabis, cannabis resin and Ecstasy. The trial, before Lord Kinclaven, continues.