Father and son caged for knife and hot water attack that has left victim scarred

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ATTACK victim George Anderson told police he thought he was about to die during a frenzied assault by a boozed-up father and son.

His ordeal at home in Gala Park Court in Galashiels included being hit over the head with a vodka bottle, slashed with a knife and having hot water from a kettle poured over his face and upper body.

The High Court in Edinburgh has been told how knife-wielding Paul Farrell, and his teenage son Ross Gourlay laughed and growled as they carried out the attack.

Detectives say that if emergency services had not arrived quickly the attack on Mr Anderson – who required life-saving treatment – might have proved fatal.

Judge Lord Tyre was told 42-year-old Mr Anderson would be scarred for life.

On Tuesday he jailed Farrell for eight years and Gourlay for six. He also said Farrell, of High Tweed Mill, King Street, Galashiels, would be kept under supervision for three years after his release and Gourlay for four – meaning they could be hauled back to jail if they committed any crime.

The sentences were welcomed by Lothian and Borders Police. The man who led the enquiry, Detective Sergeant James Morrison said: “This was a vicious attack within the victim’s own home. It was frenzied and sustained resulting in extensive injuries.

“Thankfully officers arrived quickly on the scene along with the ambulance service with those responsible being detained and prevented from inflicting fatal injuries.”

The High Court was told that father and son had turned up uninvited at Mr Anderson’s home and joined a drinking party.

But when he felt intimidated and tried to call the police, Farrell snatched the phone. When Mr Anderson punched Farrell in the face things quietened down.

But later Gourlay told the householder that he could not believe he had punched his dad – and began striking him with a vodka bottle.

Mr Anderson was felled by blows to the head. As he tried to protect himself from Farrell’s knife attack, he heard him tell Gourlay to boil the kettle.

Prosecutor John Speir said Mr Anderson thought he was going to die. The advocate depute told Lord Tyre: “He recalls Farrell growling as he slashed him and both Farrell and Gourlay telling him to stop screaming and laughing as they cut him and poured the kettle over him.”

Mr Speir said the water was hot but not boiling but that the victim had suffered scalds to his chin, cheek, forehead, shoulder and arm.

Lord Tyre told the pair: “I have seen pictures which portray the nature of the horrific injuries you inflicted on him and he will be permanently scarred as a result.”

Facing Farrell, the judge told him he had played a leading role in the assault and added: “You attacked him with a knife and instructed your son to bring a kettle of boiling water.”

And he told Gourlay: “You have a truly deplorable record for your age. If anything you pose a greater risk to the public, following your release, than your father.”

Gourlay, formerly of Dumbryden Gardens, Edinburgh, was on bail at the time of the March 28 attack, awaiting sentence for his part in robbing two teenagers of an iPod. He is currently serving 23 months in Polmont Young Offenders Institution.

Both men had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to assaulting Mr Anderson to the danger of his life.

Police probing the attack found an empty litre bottle of vodka, a 75cl vodka bottle and 16 empty strong lager cans.

Farrell’s solicitor advocate Jim Keegan QC told the court: “One thing that can be said about this is that there was a considerable amount of alcohol taken by all concerned”

He said Farrell had also been taking diazepam.

Gourlay’s defence advocate, Susan Duff, told the judge: “He very much regrets his behaviour on this particular night. It was fuelled by far too much alcohol.”

Police said Mr Anderson had suffered numerous stab wounds to his head and body as well burns and that he required life-saving hospital treatment.

Detective Sergeant Morrison commented: “This type of crime is not a common occurrence within the Borders and the sentences handed to Paul Farrell and Ross Gourlay reflect the serious nature with which police and prosecutors view knife crime.”