Man severed stranger’s ear during attempted murder

Colin Bathgate punched and kicked Craig Lukey before assaulting him with scissors and glass ornaments.

Man severed stranger’s ear during attempted murder STV News

A man who attacked a stranger and severed his ear during a murder bid has been jailed for six years.

Colin Bathgate, 33,  punched and kicked his victim and assaulted him with scissors and glass ornaments during the bloody attack.

Bathgate made a 999 call after the attempted murder and said there was a male at his house who had tried to attack him.

Advocate depute Richard Goddard QC said: “The accused confirmed to the call handler that the male was unconscious but breathing. However, he also stated that there was blood everywhere.”

Bathgate said Craig Lukey seemed to be waking up and said he would “switch him off again”, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.

Police arrived at Bathgate’s home in Linhouse Road, East Calder, in West Lothian, and looked through a window and saw Mr Lukey lying on the floor covered in blood,

Mr Goddard said: “There were significant amounts of blood around the complainer and on nearby walls.” 

Officers saw that the victim had sustained numerous head injuries with his right cheek appearing sunken and his eyes swollen.

The prosecutor said part of his right ear was missing and added: “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.”

Mr Lukey was gasping for breath and was unable to tell police his name following the attack on him.

Blood stained scissors were found and a broken ornament was also extensively stained with blood. A heavy glass vase was broken into 48 pieces which were heavily bloodstained and had clumps of hair adhering to them.

Mr Lukey was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and placed in an induced coma. He spent three weeks in hospital but required further surgery.

Bathgate earlier admitted attempting to murder him by repeatedly punching and kicking him on the head and body, repeatedly striking him glass ornaments and sharp implements, severing his ear and striking him with scissors to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life on September 10 last year.

A judge told Bathgate: “There was, in this case, a real danger to his life through loss of blood.”

Lady Carmichael said she accepted that he was genuinely remorseful and shocked by the extent of the violence.

She told Bathgate: “There is no alternative in this case to a custodial sentence given the nature of the offending.”

The judge said that if Bathgate had been convicted after a trial he would have faced a nine year prison term.

Defence solicitor advocate Ewen Roy said Bathgate had relapsed into heavy drinking following a family death.

Bathgate claimed that he had been attacked with a sword but accepted that his response was grossly disproportionate.

Mr Roy said: “He has told me he has regular nightmares about what happened. He is deeply remorseful and very ashamed of his actions.”

The court heard that Bathgate was not known to his victim before the date of the attack. The two men had gone to a local shop to buy drink before going to Bathgate’s home.

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