Evening Times - - NEWS - BY GRANT MCCABE

KNIFE thug who tried to kill a wheel­chair-bound woman in her own home has been jailed for more than eight years.

Mark Craw­ford pounced on 62-year-old neigh­bour Mary Hen­der­son and told her: “You are go­ing to die.”

The 36-year-old struck last July just weeks af­ter he had been freed from jail.

Mary was stabbed four times dur­ing the hor­ror at­tack at her home in East Kil­bride, La­nark­shire.

Craw­ford yes­ter­day re­turned to the High Court in Glas­gow hav­ing ear­lier pled guilty to at­tempted mur­der. Lord Matthews jailed him for eight years and three months.

The judge told shaven-headed Craw­ford: “This was a vul­ner­a­ble per­son who lived alone ... and re­quired the use of a wheel­chair.

“You be­friended her, but, for some rea­son, you got it into your head that you should stab her. You al­most killed her.

“You have a record in­volv­ing vi­o­lence. It ap­pears to me that you are a dan­ger­ous in­di­vid­ual.”

Craw­ford will also be mon­i­tored for three years on his re­lease.

The thug had been a reg­u­lar visitor to Mary’s home.

He knifed his vic­tim as she was on a call to her bank. Mary yelled down the phone: “It’s Mark – he’s stab­bing me.” You be­friended her, but, for some rea­son, you got it into your head that you should stab her

Craw­ford then fled – but threat­ened he would re­turn to fin­ish her off.

Pros­e­cu­tor Chris McKenna told the hear­ing: “She has a vague rec­ol­lec­tion us­ing a tea towel to stop the bleed­ing. She was left in a very dis­tressed state.”

Po­lice were alerted and of­fi­cers had to force en­try to Mary’s home.

She was found blood soaked on her couch with mul­ti­ple wounds to her neck.

The vic­tim also had a bro­ken bone in her back, two black eyes as well as frac­tures of the eye socket and nose.

Mary was rushed to hos­pi­tal as a hunt was sparked to catch her at­tacker.

Craw­ford was traced nearby and the knife used in the stab­bing was also found.

Mary’s blood was later dis­cov­ered on his trainer.

Craw­ford told po­lice he lived near Mary and that he had the blade for his pro­tec­tion.

The hear­ing was told Mary needed surgery to re­pair an artery. She has been left scarred for life. Tony Gra­ham QC, de­fend­ing, yes­ter­day said: “Mr Craw­ford ac­cepts, quite frankly, that he be­haved in a de­spi­ca­ble way.

“He was ul­ti­mately re­lieved that the vic­tim sur­vived.

“He is ap­palled at his con­duct par­tic­u­larly as the woman was some­one he had some sort of friend­ship with.”

Lord Matthews said the jail term would have been 11 years if Craw­ford had not pled guilty.

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