Two vicious thugs who drove a vulnerable man from his home after they subjected him to a brutal assault in his flat were jailed for a total of more than seven years today.
Mark Rossborough and Kevin Larkin repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped on the head and body of their victim who had been introduced to them several months before through a mutual friend.
After the attack Andrew Woodthorpe managed to make his way to a neighbour’s home who found him “in a bad way and covered in blood”.
Mr Woodthorpe, 44, was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where he was found to have a punctured right lung and a chest drain was inserted.
The attack victim, who has mild learning difficulties, had also suffered a fractured jaw and ribs.
A court heard that Mr Woodthorpe later told police that his face looks different and that he sometimes lies awake to the early hours of the morning and has suffered flashbacks to the incident.
He was so fearful of retribution from the attackers that he made himself homeless rather than return to his former home in Giles Street, Leith, in Edinburgh. he has now moved outside of the city.
Rossborough, 28, and Larkin, 29, were detained by police following the assault in May 2012, but were released on bail at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
Larkin failed to turn up for later proceedings after fleeing to Ireland. He was apprehended in Dublin on a European arrest warrant last year and returned to Scotland by the Irish authorities.
Unemployed Rossborough, formerly of Tolbooth Wynd, Edinburgh, and Larkin were originally charged with attempting to murder Mr Woodthorpe, but the Crown accepted guilty pleas to a reduced charge of assault to severe injury and to the danger of life.
A judge told the pair at the High Court in Edinburgh today: “The attack on Andrew Woodthorpe can only be described as nasty and thuggish.”
Lord Boyd of Duncansby pointed out that the victim had required surgery in the wake of the assault and that there had been emotional and psychological effects.
The judge said he accepted that both Rossborough and Larkin had taken steps to address alcohol and substance misuse problems.
He jailed Rossborough for three years and three months and his co-accused for four years. He told Larkin that his absence had prolonged the uncertainty for the victim and other witnesses,
The court heard that prior to the attack Mr Woodthorpe had become wary of the pair and was trying to avoid them.
They had come round to his home with another man on May 9 in 2012. But once inside the attack began and he was punched in the hallway.
The pair began punching, kicking and stamping on him and at one point Rossborough put his hand over the victim’s mouth and was telling him to shut up and stop screaming.
The victim covered his eyes and curled up on the floor. he felt drowsy and thought he may have lost consciousness.
After the attack Mr Woodthorpe made his way to a neighbour’s and told her that he had been assaulted and his phone and wallet had been taken.
When Rossborough was interviewed by police he denied any involvement in the assault and theft of items from the victim. He claimed he cleaned the victim up after the attack.
Larkin claimed that he had punched the victim “a couple of times” because he had shouted sectarian abuse at him. Police later recovered a mobile phone and a holdall and some clothing which belonged to the victim.
Defence solicitor advocate Andrew Houston. for Rossborough, said he had written a letter to the court which read: “I know Andy has had a rough few years, but I am sorry for my actions and take full responsibility for my part in this crime. I just want to apologise to Andy and his family for what I put them through.”
Solicitor advocate Euan Roy, for Larkin, said he had expressed real remorse. He said Larkin had been drinking heavily and taking drugs and was sleeping rough.