Man who left victim brain-damaged after horror attack jailed

Ryan McKinnon brutally turned on the man outside the victim's home in West Lothian in the early hours of September 21.

Ryan McKinnon jailed after leaving victim brain-damaged following attack in Whitburn STV News

A man who left his victim brain-damaged after a horror attack has been jailed for nine years.

Ryan McKinnon, 30, brutally turned on the man outside the victim’s home in Whitburn, West Lothian in the early hours of last September 21.

McKinnon – who had 46 previous convictions – had been freed just months earlier for another violent crime when he struck.

The victim remains badly affected and was only discharged from a rehab service earlier this year.

McKinnon was sentenced on Monday at the High Court in Glasgow having earlier admitted to an attempted murder charge.

Lord Armstrong cut the jail term from 12 years due to the guilty plea.

The judge told McKinnon: “I have carefully noted the terms of the victim impact statement.

“They make clear that your actions have had a devastating impact on [the victim’s] life.”

Prosecutor Lindsey Dalziel earlier told how a neighbour was wakened by noise around 3.30am on the morning of the attack.

She looked out and clocked McKinnon on top of the man punching into him.

The woman bravely went out to try and stop the thug.

Ms Dalziel said: “This was unsuccessful, so she went back inside and dialled 999.”

While on the phone, she noticed McKinnon with the piece of wood in his hand and the victim still prone on the ground.

Ms Dalziel said: “She saw McKinnon walk over to [the victim] and stamp on his head several times as he lay motionless.

“Witnessing this, she believed him to be dead.”

McKinnon fled by the time police arrived. Officers found the blood-soaked victim unconscious.

The court heard he suffered bleeding on the brain as well as multiple fractures to his skull, nose, eye and ribs. He had also lost part of his right ear.

He initially remained in hospital until late October 2022 before “a lengthy period of rehabilitation”.

The victim was left with a number of day-to-day issues including with his speech, concentration, memory and balance.

The court heard he “finds it hard to cope adjusting to life post-injury” and currently requires his mother for help.

Ms Dalziel said: “If this case had gone to trial, he would have required to give evidence.

“This is something he would have found physically painful and distressing.”

McKinnon, also of Whitburn, was held shortly after the attack. He waved an axe at officers as they tried to speak to him before going on to threaten them.

The hearing was told McKinnon claimed the victim had started a fight with him.

Prosecutors said they “cannot accept this”, but had no “positive evidence” to contradict.

Donald Findlay KC, defending, stated there had been “no history of animosity” between the men before that night and that any contact had been on a “fairly friendly basis”.

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