999 call halted brutal attack in an Edinburgh flat - as thug attempted to chop victim's finger off

Two thugs posing as undercover detectives brutally attacked a teenage boy after he reported a suspected Edinburgh drug dealer to police.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 5:19 pm

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Greg Duffy and David Melbourne pounced on the 17-year-oldwho endured a horrific ordeal which included an attempt to brutally hack off his finger.

The gangland pair also turned on Andrew McDonald, 41, who was at the flat in Dalry last August 22.

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A 999 call alerted Police Scotland to the attacks in Duff Street

Repeat offenders Duffy, 23, and Melbourne, 33, now face lengthy jail-terms after appearing at the High Court in Glasgow where they admitted a string of charges in connection with the incident.

They pled guilty to assaulting the teenager to his severe injury as well as to his permanent disfigurement and impairment.

The duo further admitted attacking Mr McDonald to his injury.

They had each originally been accused of attempting to murder both of their victims.

The court heard the 17-year-old's younger sister had become involved with a man he did not "approve" of after spotting social media posts which he believed linked him to drug dealing.

Prosecutor Jo McDonald told the court: : "It was his belief the male was providing her with drugs.

"On August 14 2020, the boy saw postings on social media which he believed confirmed this.

"He then reported this to police. Officers spoke to the male concerned."

The teenager went on to receive threats after this and was the subject of an apparent malicious assault allegation.

On the night of the attacks, the boy was at the flat in the capital's Duff Street with Mr McDonald when a mutual friend turned up.

Miss McDonald: "He was allowed into the flat by the 17-year-old, who described Duffy and Melbourne following him in.

"He did not recognise them. They indicated they were undercover police officers looking for a man called Charlie."

The thugs then went into "attack mode" and bundled both victims into a bedroom before ransacking drawers and demanding jewellery, laptops and phones.

Duffy initially punched Mr McDonald, stabbed him with scissors as well as booting him on the head and body.

The duo turned on the 17-year-old who blacked out briefly due to the ferocity of the brutal assault.

Duffy also used the scissors to strike the boy on the face and back before attempting to chop off his finger.

Miss McDonald then went on: "He took the teenager's hand and tried to cut off his index finger, but he was unsuccessful due to police arriving at the front door."

It was the victims' shocked friend who had dialled 999.

Officers found the attackers still in the flat. Both the boy and Mr McDonald were badly hurt.

Melbourne told police there had been an "argument" between Duffy and others.

The 17-year-old suffered a series of wounds and has been left with no feeling in his finger as a result of nerve damage.

Mr McDonald's injuries included a nose fracture.

The court was told the attackers are serial criminals both having spent time in jail.

Lord Armstrong remanded them in custody as sentencing was deferred for reports.

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