A PRISONER has been cleared of trying to murder a gangland enforcer serving a 13-year sentence for plotting to kill a businessman, while they were inmates in Saughton jail.
Thomas Thomson, 40, was on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh for attempting to murder Frank Doris in an attack with a scissor blade.
Thomson, described as a prisoner in Glenochil, denied the offence and argued that he was acting in self-defence.
The jury found him not guilty by majority verdict yesterday. Charges against a co-accused were dropped by the Crown earlier this week.
Doris, 42, was jailed in April 2010 after being found guilty of plotting to kill businessman Kevin Martin in a £30,000 contract hit.
The hardened criminal, who boasted of shooting seven men and often signed his text messages “Murder Inc”, was trapped after boasting of his plans to a former vice girl who later gave evidence against him.
The jury was shown CCTV footage from inside the city prison which showed Doris walking towards a snooker table before entering a cell on his left. Seconds later, three men burst out of the cell, aiming punches at kicks at each other.
In the footage, Doris was seen pushing one of the men, who appeared to be holding an object in his hand, over a table before the two other men involved in the fight were seen to move away as guards arrived.
Doris could then be seen pulling up his T-shirt to reveal a stab wound to his stomach.
Doris, who was stabbed in the stomach and received an arm wound which required seven sutures, was seen throwing a jar at one of his attackers before prison officers intervened.
Giving evidence in court earlier this week, Doris said that when he went into the cell he was struck from the side. He said: “It was my blind side. I have only got use of my left eye.”
He told the court that he had been fighting for his life during the attack on March 6 last year.
Doris was convicted alongside former business consultant and property developer Martin Black, 35, who had hired Doris as a bodyguard.
Black was living in fear of Kevin Martin, who claimed he was owed £100,000 from a soured business deal, and Doris was soon hired to kill him.
During the trial, the court was shown a “homemade” gun which was among the weapons amassed by Doris as part of the murder plot.
Doris boasted to former prostitute Claire Lizanec of his murder plot, but later threatened to kill her after she stole a gun from him to sell to buy drugs. Ms Lizanec reported the conspiracy to police who swooped on his home.