Brain damage victim ‘has lost everything’ says Dad

Gordon Smith. Picture: Lesley Martin

Gordon Smith. Picture: Lesley Martin

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THE father of an apprentice joiner left brain damaged in a brutal assault at a party said his son had “lost everything” and may never work again.

Adam Hendry was convicted yesterday of the attack on 23-year-old Anthony Smith, who spent weeks in intensive care recovering from life-threatening injuries.

Adam Hendry. Picture: Lesley Martin

Adam Hendry. Picture: Lesley Martin

The victim’s father, Gordon Smith, spoke of his relief that the seven-day trial was over, but said his family had endured a “nightmare” since the attack in Southhouse Walk, Gracemount, in August 2011.

It emerged after the guilty verdict at Edinburgh Sheriff Court that Hendry, 28, had previously been jailed for attacking the family of Marmion Bar killer Jamie Bain.

The thug – whose sister, Dionne, was Bain’s partner at the time of the infamous pub shooting in 2006 – was imprisoned for nine months for assaulting Bain’s mother, father and sister.

Speaking after the verdict, Gordon Smith said that his injured son was “no longer the same person”, and faced years of further rehabilitation therapy.

The 52-year-old said that his family had been living in fear of reprisals since Hendry was charged over the attack.

He said that a panic button had been installed in his Ferniehill house after receiving threats to burn down his home while his other son, Christopher, was being forced to move from Southhouse Walk due to concern for his safety.

Hendry, who runs his own building business, was convicted of punching Anthony Smith, causing him to fall over and strike his head on the road to the danger of his life.

He was also found guilty of punching Christopher Smith in the head to his injury and permanent disfigurement, and assaulting his own girlfriend, Nadine Wright, by seizing her neck and pulling her along the road.

The violence erupted at an engagement party for Christopher Smith, 27, and his new fiancée, Laura Stewart, 30, at their house where Hendry and his partner were guests.

Following the verdict, Gordon Smith was escorted outside the court building on Chambers Street by a police officer, a security measure which had been repeated on each day of the trial.

Mr Smith said: “We’re delighted with the verdict. I always knew if we told the truth then this would be the result. But it’s been nearly two years of constant stress. We’ve been living in fear.

“I had to get a panic button installed in my house because there were threats to burn my house down. My son, Christopher, is having to move house because of this. It’s been a nightmare.

“I think Hendry deserves a jail sentence for what he did, but the length of any sentence is up to the court to decide.

“But it’s a long-term thing with Tony we have to worry about. We don’t know what kind of future he will have now. He’s lost everything – his apprenticeship as a joiner, everything.”

Anthony Smith suffered a fractured skull in the attack. Doctors said that he had suffered impaired concentration and memory due to his injuries, and he required physical and speech therapy while undergoing rehabilitation treatment at the Astley Ainslie Hospital.

He has suffered a number of seizures, and was not allowed to return to work as a joiner due to the risks of operating power tools and working at heights.

His father said: “It’s had a massive impact on Tony’s life. He’s not the same person any more. When I tell him what happened at court he won’t be able to take it in. You can talk to him but sometimes it’s like talking to a child. Sometimes you don’t even get a response from him.

“His personality has gone because of the damage done to the frontal lobes of his brain. He’s bad tempered now because of the injury. I don’t know if he’ll ever be able to work again.”

Gordon Smith has also learned that he has a terminal illness.

He said: “I have an aneurism in the brain that’s growing. It’s not going to get smaller and the doctors say there’s nothing they can do so we have a lot of health problems hanging over the family.”

The trial heard that Hendry had been a guest at the engagement party, but had left after arguing with his girlfriend, who remained at the gathering.

Witnesses told the jury that Hendry had returned around midnight and began kicking the front door.

Gordon Smith told the court that he tried to calm Hendry as other party guests, including his sons, came out to the front garden.

He said that neither of his sons adopted a “threatening attitude” towards Hendry.

Describing Hendry, Mr Smith said: “He was standing on his toes with his hands up like a boxer. He seemed crazy, like a man possessed. Then he lunged like a rocket at my son.”

The court heard that Hendry punched Christopher Smith, who tumbled to the ground.

Witnesses said that Hendry tried to drag his girlfriend to a waiting car then punched Anthony Smith, who fell backwards and cracked the back of his head on the ground.

The apprentice joiner felt unwell the next day and was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but was sent home after doctors ruled he had a concussion.

But as his condition deteriorated, he was taken back to the ERI the following day and was quickly transferred to the Western General. His condition worsened again and he ended up on a ventilator in intensive care.

A medical report from the Western General read out to the jury stated that Anthony Smith had been “drinking and taking ecstasy” at the party.

The jury returned a majority guilty verdict against Hendry for assaulting the brothers, and a unanimous verdict on the charges of assaulting Ms Wright.

Hendry, of Polton Drive, Lasswade, Midlothian, had denied the charges and lodged a special defence that he was 
acting in self-defence after being attacked by Christopher and Anthony Smith.

Hendry’s solicitor, Edward Wilson, said his client had adhered to bail conditions since September 2011, including a year with a curfew to remain in his home between 7pm and 7am.

He added that Hendry and Ms Wright were still together, and she was due to give birth to their first child within days.

In a phone call to the Evening News office during the trial, Hendry poured scorn on the motives of the Smith family for continuing with the case.

He said: “Don’t get me wrong, I wish him a speedy recovery, but his family have never given the slightest bit of thought about my child. All they want to do is hype this up and keep it going. They thrive on gossip.”

Referring to his victim’s family, he said that “these people just don’t live to the same values and morals that I do” before adding that he was scared current business clients would ditch him if they discovered he was a convicted thug.

He added: “I do have previous but that was four or five years ago. I’m a changed man now. I love my partner with all my worth and can’t wait to be a dad. These people though, well, they just want to keep it going and want to make a big boom out of everything I was connected with in the past.”

Sheriff Isobel McColl bailed Hendry until he returns to court for sentencing on June 7.

Jailed for Marmion family attack

ADAM Hendry was jailed in December 2008 for launching an attack on the parents of Marmion gunman Jamie Bain.

Hendry was convicted of assaulting Bain’s mother, father and sister following another seven-day trial.

He was found guilty of kicking Bain’s father, James, then 43, on the head – severely injuring and permanently scarring him – and also kicking mother Kim, then 42, on the head and injuring her by twisting her leg, and punching sister Caroline on the head.

He carried out the assaults at their friend’s home in Hyvots Mill Drive on July 16, 2008.

Mrs Bain told the jury that Hendry was the brother of Dionne Hendry, her son’s former partner and mother of his two children, and that he went “berserk” after arriving at the house.

Hendry’s lawyer, Vincent Belmonte, said that his client had believed members of the Bain family had been following Dionne and had tried to “sort it out”.

Jamie Bain is serving a life sentence for shooting dead boxing champion Alex McKinnon, 32, in April 2006.

Mr McKinnon’s brother-in-law, James Hendry, was badly injured after being shot.

James Bain, then 22, Richard Cosgrove, then 21, and getaway driver Bernard Young, 19 at the time, were convicted of the shooting.