Chain­saw at­tacker pleads guilty to at­tempted mur­der

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

A CRAZED man car­ried out a hor­rific chain­saw at­tack on his ex-lover’s el­derly par­ents in Fort Wil­liam days af­ter she ended their re­la­tion­ship.

James MacDon­ald, 48, burst into John and Flora MacPher­son’s home threat­en­ing to kill their daugh­ter Tracey. He stood in their liv­ing room revving a chain­saw be­fore turn­ing it on ter­ri­fied Flora and then John as he tried to save his wife. The 74-year- old al­most had his whole arm hacked off.

Flora, 63, was also left badly in­jured as MacDon­ald fled the house in Fort Wil­liam.

A judge heard how the cou­ple told each other they loved one an­other as John feared he was go­ing to die. But he sur­vived af­ter sur­geons car­ried out a nine-hour op­er­a­tion.

De­tails of the at­tacks emerged on Mon­day as MacDon­ald pled guilty to at­tempt­ing to mur­der John. He also ad­mit­ted as­sault­ing Flora to her se­vere in­jury, per­ma­nent dis­fig­ure­ment and im­pair­ment as well to the dan­ger of her life.

MacDon­ald had been see­ing Tracey MacPher­son for more than two years be­fore she left him on July 14 this year. She moved back in with her par­ents, but MacDon­ald con­tin­ued to hound her. Pros­e­cu­tor Ross Macfar­lane QC told the High Court in Glas­gow: ‘He told her re­peat­edly that he was go­ing to kill her.’

Tracey was so scared she asked her par­ents to lock all the doors at their home. On the day of at­tacks – July 19 – MacDon­ald was spot­ted with a chain­saw un­der his seat at a bar in Caol. Rag­ing, MacDon­ald left the pub and stormed off to the MacPher­sons’ house. The cou­ple were watch­ing TV around 8pm when the ground worker got in via a back door. Tracey was up­stairs in a bed­room.

MacDon­ald turned on the chain­saw and yelled: ‘ Where is Tracey ... the ******* *****? I’m go­ing to kill her tonight.’

Crazed MacDon­ald kept revving the chain­saw be­fore strik­ing out at his for­mer lover’s mum. Flora tried to turn away but she was wounded af­ter be­ing hit on the arm. Her hus­band leapt out of his chair to res­cue her. How­ever, the OAP was left hor­rif­i­cally in­jured af­ter MacDon­ald also re­peat­edly lashed out at him. Flora screamed Tracey was not in be­fore the at­tacker raced out with the chain­saw still revving. She di­alled 999 and then went to help her blood-soaked hus­band.

Pros­e­cu­tor Mr Macfar­lane said: ‘They told each other that they loved one an­other. John MacPher­son said he was go­ing to die and to tell his chil­dren he loved them. He also started to pray.’

John, also known as Ray­mond, was rushed to hospi­tal be­fore be­ing sent for treat­ment in Glas­gow with an in­jury de­scribed as ‘cat­a­strophic’. Medics con­firmed that had he not re­ceived help, he would have died. The court heard he is per­ma­nently scarred and his in­jured arm is now shorter than the other.

The or­deal has left him suf­fer­ing flash­backs and night­mares. It is likely he will re­quire more surgery in the fu­ture.

His wife needed around 12 stitches for wounds to her arm and hand. Flora is also scarred for life and has been see­ing a coun­sel­lor due to the trauma.

MacDon­ald, of Fort Wil­liam, also ad­mit­ted other charges of be­hav­ing in a threat­en­ing man­ner and hav­ing an of­fen­sive weapon.

Gra­ham Robertson, de­fend­ing, said the case for ev­ery­one in­volved was an ‘ab­so­lute and com­plete tragedy’.

Lord Boyd re­manded MacDon­ald in cus­tody and de­ferred sen­tenc­ing for re­ports un­til De­cem­ber 13 in Ed­in­burgh.

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