A pensioner was jailed for nine years today after trying to murder his daughter’s former partner in a surprise axe attack.
Masked John Quantrell smashed a car window with the weapon before repeatedly striking Christopher Willett, who was in a passenger seat, with the hatchet.
A judge told Quantrell ,65,: “It is clear, on the evidence, you had a deep animosity towards Christopher Willett.”
Lord Clark said at the High Court in Edinburgh: “You struck him four times with the axe. One blow was to his head.”
The judge told Quantrell, who has previous convictions for dishonesty, public disorder, assault and robbery: “There is no alternative to a substantial custodial sentence.”
The judge also ordered that Quantrell should be kept under supervision for a further two year period.
Quantrell had earlier denied attempting to murder Mr Willett ,36, on September 11 in 2017 at Mansfield Road and Sinclair Road, in Aberdeen.
But a jury found him guilty of the murder bid, while acting with another, by approaching the car Mr Willett was in, smashing the window resulting on glass hitting the victim and then repeatedly striking on the head and body to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life.
Jurors deleted a further allegation that he drove a car at speed towards Mr Willett and hit him with the vehicle, throwing him in the air before he landed on the ground and was rendered unconscious.
Mr Willett, who had a relationship with Qunatrell’s daughter up to 2015, was attacked as he left his workplace at Trojan Crates in the Torry area of Aberdeen.
He said as he entered a car with a colleague there was a “bang” against the vehicle and he told his workmate that it had been hit by another car.
A man left the other vehicle and came round to the passenger side leaving him thinking some sort of road rage incident was taking place.
“The next thing I know the window is starting to get hit,” he said. The window pane was smashed and his attacker swung four blows with the weapon at him.
He said that he thought if he stayed where he was he was dead and managed to get out of the car. After removing his attacker’s hood and scarf he realised his assailant was Quantrell.
He later remembered waking up in the street and being treated by paramedics.
Defence counsel David Moggach said Quantrell maintained that the incident stemmed from “a chance meeting”.
He said: “It was not premeditated. He did not go out of his way to find Mr Willett. It was simply a coincidence.
Mr Moggach said Quantrell had “quite a colourful past” and was previously imprisoned but his last assault conviction was more than 20 years ago.
The defence counsel said the murder bid was “a one off incident” and argued that Quantrell did not pose a risk to the general public, although he accepted a prison sentence for the latest offence was inevitable.