Father and son jailed for 20 years over sledgehammer murder bid

Stephen Sangster Jnr. Picture: Lesley Donaldson

Stephen Sangster Jnr. Picture: Lesley Donaldson

A FATHER and son have been jailed for a total of 20 years after carrying out a horrific murder bid using a sledgehammer, a shovel and a knife.

Stephen Sangster senior and son Stephen junior burst into their victim 41-year-old Fraser Winton’’s Bathgate home and inflicted horrific injuries on him.

Stephen Sangster Snr. Picture: Lesley Donaldson

Stephen Sangster Snr. Picture: Lesley Donaldson

Mr Winton suffered a fractured skull, vertebra and forearm and multiple wounds as he was repeatedly struck and slashed.

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Yesterday, the Sangsters were each jailed for 10 years by judge Lord Glennie who also ordered them to be monitored in the community for three years after their release.

Lord Glennie told them: “You were both convicted of launching an attack on a defenceless man in his own home. You burst in and committed a vicious attack. He sustained horrendous injuries and it is only by good fortune he didn’t die.

You burst in and committed a vicious attack. He sustained horrendous injuries and it is only by good fortune he didn’t die.

Lord Glennie

“Whether this was the result of drugs or a perceived slight by a female in your family, there is no excuse for this behaviour.”

The pair continue to deny at the flat in Owen Stone Street on August 31, 2014, but were convicted by a jury.

Sangster Snr, 52, was wielding a sledgehammer while his son was carrying a shovel before using a craft knife on the victim.

During the attack a woman threw herself on top of Mr Winton in an attempt to shield him and pleaded: “Don’t kill him. Please don’t kill him.”

Mr Winton suffered a fractured skull, vertebra and forearm and multiple wounds as he was repeatedly struck and slashed.

He was taken to hospital and operated on and his injuries were considered potentially life-threatening.

During the attack the older Sangster said: “Let’s go. We have done him. We have done him.”

But his 24-year-old son took the knife and continued the attack, shouting at his father: “He has to die. He has to die. He knows too much.”

The victim told the court that Sangster Jnr had been grinding the knife into the back of his legs.

The assault had started when three men, including the Sangsters, rushed into the flat armed with weapons and the father struck the victim on the head with the sledgehammer.

Advocate depute Alan Mackay told the court: “This was a ferocious and sustained attack carried out on an unarmed man by three individuals, two of whom were the accused.”

“The three who took part arrived armed with weapons.

“They arrived together and went away together,” said the prosecutor.

Mr Mackay added: “This has all the hallmarks of an organised and concerted assault by these men.”

Mr Mackay said that the victim had known the pair “for some years”.

The Sangsters, of Mayfield Drive, Armadale, both have previous convictions for assault and possessing weapons.

The court was told Sangster senior, a father of three, who suffered a stroke in 2010 and walks with the aid of a stick, and his son, who is a dad-of-two, continue to protest their innocence.