A dad-of-three who was almost hacked to death with an axe in Newmains has this week told how his life is in tatters after the savage street attack.
The 45-year-old has been left brain-damaged, suffers anxiety and memory problems, and is afraid to leave his house.
“When I shut my eyes I can still see the axe swinging for my head,” said the victim.
He did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, insisting that a group of 14-15 people attacked him that night and only one person was convicted.
“I definitely should be dead,” said the man, who did not know his attacker.
Newmains thug Keith Russell, a grandfather of eight, was jailed for five years on Friday for his part in the “barbarous attack” in Northwood Drive.
Hamilton Sheriff Court heard the victim has been in and out of hospital since.
He suffers anxiety and memory difficulties, and his communication has been affected.
Russell, of Crindledyke Crescent, was sentenced two days before his 48th birthday.
A jury convicted him of assaulting the man in July 2018.
The attack followed a dispute between Russell’s mum and the daughter of the victim. Other people were involved in the assault, but haven’t been traced.
Sheriff Kelly said it appeared the victim had simply been trying to remove his daughter from a “fraught” situation.
The sheriff told Russell: “Having been seen coming out of a block of flats with an axe, it appears to have been you who started the attack.
“He was struck by the axe and others joined in from right and left.
“He was hit on the back of the head with a piece of tarmac, then the axe once again hit his head.
“He fell and some sort of bat struck him in the eye. He felt a golf club on top of him.
“Your victim managed to get up and started trying to run away. He reached the corner when someone seized his top and he was being hit on the head with a hammer.
He heard someone tell the others to break his legs. Two others came over with a full-sized sledgehammer and hit his legs which went from under him.
“He told them that he was dying there.”
Giving evidence, Russell claimed he was at a pond fishing at the time of the attack.
He insisted he didn’t even know the victim.
Jennifer McLaren, prosecuting, pointed out that the victim’s partner had identified him as being at the scene “wielding an axe”.
Russell said she must have mixed him up with his brother who is his “mirror image”.
The court heard Russell’s mum had made complaints about her neighbour, the victim’s daughter, drinking and being rowdy.
There was an altercation on the night of the attack.
But Russell claimed he had no contact with his mum and said he “hated” her.
The jury rejected Russell’s defence of alibi.
Jailing him, Sheriff Kelly said: “For such a brutal and prolonged attack with weapons upon an unsuspecting person, simply perhaps because of what his daughter was thought to have done earlier, a significant sentence is called for.”