Kelso grandmother stabbed more than 40 times during murder attempt

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

A knife attacker stabbed a grandmother of 13 more than 40 times during a brutal attempt to kill her as she slept at her Borders home.

Ian McGregor launched his bloody assault on Elspeth Burns as she lay in bed while suffering from a migraine.

McGregor, a visitor to her house in Inchmyre, Kelso, earlier that day, returned later on, entering through an unlocked door, before trying to murder the 57-year-old.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that his victim was woken up by McGregor stabbing her.

The mother of three told the court that she had said to him: “What are you doing? Get off me, get off me.”

She said she was being pounded up and down her back with a knife.

After the attack, she got up but collapsed and shouted for help.

She was taken to hospital and found to have about 40 wounds, including ones to her head, neck, back and chest.

She had so many wounds that they could not be counted accurately but among them was a punctured lung and an injury near the carotid artery in her neck.

The attack victim was found to have so many wounds that they could not be counted accurately.

She also sustained nine defensive injuries.

She estimated that the attack on her had lasted five to 10 minutes.

McGregor, 30, a prisoner in Edinburgh, had denied attempting to murder her on October 25 last year by repeatedly stabbing her to the head and body to her severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of her life, but a jury last Thursday unanimously convicted him and also found him guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

McGregor tried to destroy evidence following the attack by setting fire to a bloodstained jersey and jeans at Woodside Park in Kelso.

Advocate depute Duncan McPhie told the court that the attack victim had never wavered in her evidence that her attacker was McGregor.

The prosecutor said McGregor knew he could walk straight into the victim’s home because the door lock was not working.

Mr McPhie said that following the attack McGregor had tried to burn evidence but failed. Bloodstains and DNA found on clothing was discovered to have come from the murder bid victim and her DNA was also on a lighter found near the fire scene.

The court heard that McGregor, staying in Kelso at the time, had been at his victim’s home earlier, but he had been asked to leave and did so, only to return later with murderous intent.

Unemployed McGregor said he’d had a drink at the flat while others were present.

He told the court he’d had a glass of wine and half a can of beer.

He said the atmosphere in the flat “seemed OK” but accepted that he had said something to which exception was taken, a joke that he admitted was “quite offensive”.

McGregor, claiming to have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and suffering “crippling social anxiety”, told defence counsel David Nicholson that he was at his brother’s address at the time of the attack.

After he was found guilty of the murder bid, the court heard that he had eight pages of previous convictions including ones for serious assault, assault, drugs and breach of the peace.

The judge, Lord Alan Summers, called for a background report on McGregor ahead of sentencing next month.

He was detained in custody until his next appearance.