Man jailed over brutal legal high murder bid

The High Court in Edinburgh
The High Court in Edinburgh
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A man who carried out a brutal murder bid after snorting lines of a herbal high has been jailed for seven and a half years.

Robert Hogan repeatedly stabbed his victim with one of his own kitchen knives during the attack at the wounded man’s home.

Today at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Doherty told Hogan, 35: “You pled guilty to the attempted murder of Gordon Band while a guest in his home.”

Lord Doherty pointed out that without medical treatment the injuries could have proved fatal.

Mr Band, 53, had to undergo emergency surgery after the attack on May 31 this year and the judge said the effects on him had been “marked”.

Lord Doherty said Hogan would have faced a 10 year jail term but for his guilty plea.

Mr Band, a promoter who ran club nights, had known Hogan for about 20 years although they had lost contact for a period.

Around Christmas last year they got back in touch and began to spend time with each other.

Advocate depute Leeane Cross said on the evening before the attack Hogan had arrived at Mr Band’s home in Edinburgh’s Canongate where they were joined by others.

She said the attack victim thought that Hogan had snorted about 10 lines of a herbal high over six hours.

“During this time there did not appear to be any issues between the victim and the accused,” she said.

The others left and in the morning Mr Band asked Hogan if he could leave as he had things he had to do.

“He said he would do so after a cup of coffee which the victim was quite happy with,” said the prosecutor.

“The accused went to the kitchen and made a cup of coffee and returned carrying the cup which he placed on the coffee table. The victim saw that his right hand was behind his back,” she said.

Without warning Hogan jumped on top of Mr Band and pinned him to a sofa. He produced a large meat knife and began stabbing the victim.

Hogan, of no fixed abode, fled from the flat after the assault and Mr Band phoned for an ambulance. Paramedics arrived to find him clutching a blood-soaked towel to his chest and stomach.

His clothing was cut off in the ambulance and he was found to have a number of open wounds. He was taken to hospital with five deep wounds to his torso and another eight injuries to his left arm.

He underwent surgery to repair holes to his stomach, bowel and colon and remained in hospital for almost a month.

Initial attempts to trace Hogan failed but on June 3 he turned up at St Leonards police station.

The advocate depute said: “Due to some confusion as to why he was there he was asked to leave but a short time later he was traced by officers close to the station.”

Hogan initially indicated he was responsible for the attack and at one point said to officers: “He got what he deserved.” But during a later interview he claimed to know nothing about the assault.

The advocate depute said the attack victim had found getting to sleep difficult following the assault. She said: “He often pictures the accused standing over him with a knife.”

Hogan, a former stonemason, admitted assaulting Mr Band to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life and attempting to murder him.

His solicitor advocate Ewen Roy said he recognised that a lengthy jail sentence was inevitable.

He said Hogan’s behaviour was only explicable in the context of significant physical and sexual abuse that he had previously suffered from others.

The court heard that Hogan claimed that as a teenager he was abducted and sexually abused by notorious convicted criminal Martin Hamilton.

Mr Roy said: “Hamilton was at that point operating significantly in the drug scene in Edinburgh.”

“The ordeal lasted for 10 hours. It was not reported to the police for fear of reprisal,” he said.

He said it was Hogan’s view that what took place when he was 19 “effectively ruined his life and have remained with him to this day.”

He added that Hogan did not have a great deal of recollection about the attack on Mr Band.