Brutal attack at East Calder home left victim in induced coma with severed ear

A man attacked a stranger with scissors and ornaments and severed his ear in a horrific murder bid in his East Calder home before claiming to police he acted in self-defence.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 4:45 pm

Colin Bathgate brutally assaulted his victim before making a 999 call to emergency services stating there was a male at his home who was unconscious but breathing.

Bathgate, 33, said there was blood everywhere but maintained that he had tried to protect himself.

During the call he said that the man seemed to be waking up and that he would "switch him off again".

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Bathgate stated that he did not know who the man was but that he had been at his house drinking with him.

When police arrived at his home in East Calder, in West Lothian, he was still on the phone. Officers looked through a window and saw the victim lying on the floor covered in blood with more bloodstains on the walls of the living room.

Bathgate's clothes and shoes were also extensively blood stained from the victim Craig Lukey, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.

Advocate depute Richard Goddard QC said: "The accused opened the front door to the police, gestured towards the living room and stated 'He needs help'."

Bathgate stated that he did not know who the man was but that he had been at his house drinking with him.
Bathgate stated that he did not know who the man was but that he had been at his house drinking with him.

"The complainer was seen by officers to have numerous injuries to his head. His right cheek appeared sunken, his eyes were swollen and part of his right ear was missing," said the prosecutor.

"A tooth and flesh from the complainer's ear were on a nearby sofa. The accused's saliva was found in the flesh on later analysis," he added.

Mr Goddard said officers found the victim to be conscious but gasping for breath. He could not tell the police his name.

Bloodstained scissors, a broken stag ornament and 48 pieces of broken glass from a heavy vase were found. All the makeshift weapons bore the blood of Mr Lukey.

He was taken by ambulance from Bathgate's home in Linhouse Road, East Calder, to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and placed in an induced coma. He was found to have extensive facial injuries, broken ribs, a blood clot in the lungs, multiple wounds to his left arm and back and part of his right ear was bitten off.

Mr Goddard said: "There was a potential danger to life in this case due to loss of blood." He has since undergone surgery.

Unemployed Bathgate admitted attempting to murder Mr Lukey on September 10 last year by repeatedly punching and kicking him on the head and body, repeatedly striking with glass ornaments and sharp implements, severing his ear and striking him with scissors.

The court heard that the two men had earlier been at a shop in the village separately buying alcohol.

Defence solicitor advocate Ewen Roy said a letter from Bathgate's family doctor providing information about mental health issues had been provided to the court.

The judge, Lady Carmichael, deferred sentence on Bathgate for the preparation of a background report. He is currently a prisoner at Addiewell jail, in West Lothian.

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