Drink and drug-crazed thug jailed for ‘murderous attack’ on man, 79, in his West Lothian home

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A drink and drug-crazed intruder who launched a murder bid on a 79-year-old man in his West Lothian home has been jailed for eight years and eight months.

Michael Jamieson, 22, attempted to murder Thomas Gray after he opened the door to him on November 3rd, 2018.

Michael Jamieson has been jailed. Pic: Police Scotland

Michael Jamieson has been jailed. Pic: Police Scotland

The thug, who was wearing orange shorts and a t-shirt, punched Mr Gray to the floor before stamping on him and trying to strangle him.

As his terrified wife Margaret, also 79, dialled 999 Jamieson smashed her over the head.

Mr Gray suffered nine ribs fractures and bleeding on the brain and doctors feared he would die from his injuries.

In a letter to the Judge, Jamieson, who has no recollection of the attack, described it as “horrific.”

Judge Lord Armstrong told Jamieson: “This was a cowardly and senseless, but ferocious and murderous attack on Mr Gray. You compressed his neck and stamped on him. The attack was unprovoked on an elderly man in his own home.”

The High Court in Glasgow heard that Mr and Mrs Gray now have to walk with sticks and are in constant pain.

Lord Armstrong told Jamieson that but for his early guilty plea he would have jailed him for 13 years.

Jamieson wrote a letter to Lord Armstrong in which he said: “I can’t express how much remorse I feel for the victims and their families. The crime I committed was horrific.”

His defence counsel Susan Duff said: “He had no recollection of these events as he was heavily under the influence of drugs and alcohol. He was appalled when he realised what he had done. He couldn’t even bear to listen to what he did.”

Jamieson assaulted the couple after he went on a rampage in the West Lothian village of Polbeth, near West Calder and attacked a total of seven victims.

H

e began by biting and punching the father of a woman friend at her home, attacked a neighbour and then targeted the Grays.

He also assaulted two other men, including 82-year-old Alexander Faulkner and later spat at a police officers

Jamieson, whose previous convictions include assault with a baseball bat, was on bail from Edinburgh Sheriff Court when he carried out the string of attacks.

When he turned up at the home of Mr and Mrs Gray, Jamieson entered and began throwing punches at his victim who fell down.

Miss Barron said: “Mr Gray heard his wife screaming but thereafter he has very little recollection of events until the police arrived and he was taken to hospital.

“During the 999 telephone call Mrs Gray can be heard to be clearly distressed and screaming for help. Noises can be heard in the background of the accused shouting and of glass smashing.”

Miss Barron added: “There was little doubt Mr Gray’s life was at risk.”

After the attack on Mr Faulkner at Polbeth Road he was found to have sustained wedge fractures to his spine and a doctor who examined him said he may suffer chronic pain in future.

Police arrived and detained Jamieson but because of his behaviour and apparent state of intoxication he was taken to St John’s Hospital and while being walked into the building he spat on the policewoman.

As Jamieson was led away to the cells a woman in the public benches of the court could be heard shouting “Rot in hell” at him.

Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Batten, from Livingston CID, said: “While alcohol and drugs will have played a part in Jamieson’s violent behaviour, his actions are inexcusable and resulted in a number of people sustaining various injuries.

“Three of those attacked were assaulted within their on homes and were left deeply distressed by the levels of violence and aggression displayed by Jamieson.

“Members of the local community attempted to come to the assistance of their neighbours and to subdue Jamieson. There efforts should be recognised and commended.

“This sentence should reflect the joint commitment of Police Scotland and COPFS (Crown Office) in removing violent criminals from our streets and ensuring they receive custodial sentences for their offences.”

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