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Lossiemouth man who launched pre-planned hammer attack in victim's home jailed for 45 months

By Ali Morrison

A MASKED intruder who attacked a man with a claw hammer and gouged his eyes before apologising to the victim has been jailed for three years and nine months.

Donald Mackenzie (38) lay in wait for Stuart Brown returning to his at Steading View, Lossiemouth, before launching the assault on him.

A judge at the High Court in Edinburgh told Mackenzie: "You attacked a man in his own home in what was clearly a pre-planned attack."

The High Court in Edinburgh.
The High Court in Edinburgh.

Lord Arthurson ordered that he should begin the prison term he imposed on him at the end of a 40-month jail sentence Mackenzie is currently serving for drugs and weapons offences.

Mackenzie, who is from Lossiemouth but is currently a prisoner in Glasgow's Barlinnie jail, was originally charged with attempting to murder Mr Brown on July 6 in 2021.

But the Crown accepted his guilty plea to a lesser charge of assaulting the victim to his injury and to the danger of his life by repeatedly striking him on the head with a hammer, seizing him by the head and pushing his fingers into his eyes and struggling with him.

The court heard that Mr Brown later died but that his death was unrelated to the attack on him by Mackenzie.

On the day of the assault, Mr Brown left his home to go to a shop before returning to the unlocked bungalow.

He went to his bedroom but masked Mackenzie emerged from an en suite bathroom and launched the attack on his victim who was hit twice with the hammer.

During a struggle they moved into the hallway and Mr Brown managed to remove his attacker's mask and recognised his assailant as a local man.

At one stage Mackenzie was on top of him and gouged at his eyes before the victim tried to calm him down and the attacker apologised.

Advocate depute Donald Davidson KC said: "He told the deceased he had to do it for the sake of his family."

When asked for the reason he responded "he made me do it" but would not elaborate further.

Mr Brown's woman lodger returned to the house and asked Mr Brown what had happened and he told her he fell off his bike. Mackenzie left and Mr Brown got the lodger to stitch his wounds.

Nine days later Mr Brown attended at a hospital in Elgin complaining of headaches and said he was unable to focus and oversleeping. A CT scan came back clear.

Defence solicitor advocate Gary Miller said that at the time of the attack Mackenzie was "in the grip of a serious addiction" and ran up debt.

He said: "What led to his addiction was that he had a significant decline in his mental health."

He said Mackenzie was overcome by "an attack of conscience" during the assault and stopped and apologised.

Mr Miller added: "His conscience overcame him. He apologised to Mr Brown and thereafter tried to help him by wrapping a towel around his head to control the bleeding and offered to call the emergency services."

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