Chainsaw attacker pleads guilty to attempted murder
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.