Father and son are jailed after horrific attack with sledgehammer

Stephen Sangster Jnr and his father were remanded in custody. Picture: TSPL

Stephen Sangster Jnr and his father were remanded in custody. Picture: TSPL

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A FATHER and son have been jailed after carrying out a ­horrific murder bid on a man after bursting into a flat in Bathgate.

Stephen Sangster senior and son Stephen junior turned up at the house armed and inflicted multiple injuries on their victim.

Stephen Sangster Snr. Picture: TSPL

Stephen Sangster Snr. Picture: TSPL

The pair had denied attempting to murder Fraser Winton, 41, in the vicious assault at the address in Owen Stone Street on August 31, 2014, with a spade, axe, mallet, bat and knife, but were convicted by a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh.

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.

This was a ferocious and sustained attack carried out on an unarmed man”

ALAN MACKAY

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 pointed out that the victim had known the pair “for some years”.

He said Mr Winton had suffered “a very, very serious attack on that evening”.

The Sangsters, of Mayfield Drive, Armadale, were later identified as the perpetrators by a witness at an identification parade.

After the verdict, the court heard that both father and son have previous convictions for assault and possessing weapons.

The pair had been on bail but the trial judge, Lord Glennie, remanded them in custody following the jury’s verdict and called for background reports ahead of sentencing next month.

newsen@edinburghnews.com