Man stabbed uncle 26 times in frenzied murder bid after 'self-medicating'

Andrew Gray had to undergo a blood transfusion after he had dozens of stab wounds inflicted.

Man stabbed uncle 26 times in brutal murder attempt after ‘self-medicating’ on alcohol and Valium iStock

A knife attacker who was “self medicating” on drink and drugs has been jailed for six years after stabbing his uncle 26 times in a brutal murder bid.

Martin Joyce turned on Andrew Gray at the victim’s home in Barrhead, in East Renfrewshire, and launched the frenzied attack on him on May 31 last year.

A judge told Joyce: “You inflicted a total of 26 stab wounds to his head, neck, back and arms. You could easily have killed him.”

Lord Scott said Joyce had carried on with the attack on Mr Gray, 49, even as the victim retreated.

The judge said at the High Court in Edinburgh that he had read a victim impact statement prepared by him and noted “the serious and lasting consequences” of the murder bid for Mr Gray.

Lord Scott told Joyce, 36, that he had committed “a wholly unprovoked attack” on his relative.

Joyce, a prisoner at Low Moss jail, earlier admitted attempting to murder his victim at an address in Sunnyside Place, in Barrhead, by striking him on the head and body repeatedly with a knife to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life.

The court heard that he intended to write to his victim to express his remorse over the assault.

Lord Scott said a report prepared on Joyce had outlined problems he had with bereavements, loss of employment, anxiety and depression.

The judge said that he noted that his answer to his problems, at least in part, appeared to be to self-medicate with alcohol and valium.

He told Joyce, who has never previously been jailed, that he would have faced a nine-year prison sentence for the attempted murder if he had been convicted of the offence following a trial, but the sentence would be reduced following his early guilty plea.

The court heard that there had been a “verbal altercation” between the men after they had been watching television. Joyce went into the kitchen and returned armed with a knife before striking his uncle on the neck with the weapon.

He continued to attack Mr Gray as he tried to escape from the property. The victim managed to get into the street and flagged down a passing car for help.

Joyce fled but made a 999 call and claimed that he was in the grounds of St Conval’s cemetery in Barrhead. Police did not find him there but traced him to his mother’s home in Glasgow.

The victim required urgent hospital treatment following the attack, including a blood transfusion.

Defence solicitor advocate Paul Mullen asked the court to take into account that Joyce had “a very limited record” of previous offending in sentencing him.

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