Conman jailed for knife attack over a toothbrush

Thomas Restorick used kitchen knife on victim. Picture: Contributed
Thomas Restorick used kitchen knife on victim. Picture: Contributed
Have your say

A conman is back behind bars after slashing a man he believed had broken into his car – and stolen his toothbrush.

Thomas Restorick led an attack on John Mackie before ordering his victim not to call police.

Restorick had forced his way into the flat in Musselburgh with two accomplices after “local gossip” that Mr Mackie and his friend, Susan Paterson, had targeted Restorick’s vehicle.

A judge heard how Mr Mackie needed hospital treatment after suffering a large gash to his face.

Restorick was later arrested and yesterday at the High Court in Glasgow pleaded guilty to attacking Mr Mackie to his permanent disfigurement. He also admitted assaulting Ms Paterson with intent to rob.

He was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for these latest crimes.

Hutchison was jailed for four years after he pleaded guilty to being involved in the assault of Mr Mackie.

Restorick, 39, was back in the dock more than a decade after he conned a 77-year-old man with cancer out of his life savings.

Restorick was jailed for ten years after taking £454,000 from Ralph Pride by pretending he needed cash to fund a secret inquiry into police corruption.

The court in the current cases heard how Ms Paterson had been at home on July 2 when she heard banging from the front door.

She was confronted by Restorick, accomplice Alexander Hutchison, 40 – both of whom were masked – and a third man.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC told how Restorick repeatedly slapped the woman while yelling: “Get the money out, get it out of your bag.”

Restorick then turned on Mr Mackie – who was also in the flat – and punched him several times.

At one point, Restorick told Hutchison: “Take the scarf off – she knows who you are anyway.”

Mr Prentice said Hutchison later got a knife from the kitchen; Restorick then took the weapon and slashed Mr Mackie on the face.

The advocate depute said: “The third male lifted a sock and cleaned the knife with it.

“They left after Restorick warned them [the victims] not to speak to the police.”

Medics treated Mr Mackie for a deep 7cm wound to the left side of his face.

Restorick was held days later after he handed himself into police in Edinburgh. However, he claimed to know nothing about the attacks.

Hutchison was also arrested by police, but the third man has never been traced.

Restorick’s lawyer told the court how his client had his car broken into in the lead-up to the attacks. Vincent Belmonte, defending, said items taken included an electric toothbrush and his children’s clothes.

Mr Belmonte added: “He lives in the Musselburgh area. Local gossip was that the complainers were involved in the theft, but there was no way of proving that.”

The lawyer said Restorick “regrets his behaviour very much”.

Restorick’s fraud of Ralph Pride was described by a judge in 2002 as the worst case of deception of the elderly in Scotland. The conman told Mr Pride – who also had Alzheimer’s – that money was needed for an investigation into police corruption led by then Lord Advocate Lord Hardie.

The pensioner believed the cash would be re-paid – instead Restorick splashed out on jewellery, holidays and cars.