A knife attacker was jailed for 12 years today for stabbing a defenceless woman 40 times as she lay in bed sleeping.
Ian McGregor was told by trial judge Lord Alan Summers that his frenzied attack on 57-year-old Elspeth Burns at her Kelso home in October 2016 was “cowardly and vicious”.
McGregor was living in Kelso at the time and had been a guest at her flat earlier that day.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that grandmother Ms Burns was alone and in bed when McGregor returned, after previously being asked to leave her flat for telling an offensive joke, and knifed her repeatedly.
The 30-year-old was convicted after trial last month of attempting to murder Ms Burns and was back in court today for sentencing.
Lord Summers told him: “You have been convicted of attempted murder.
“Your victim suffered multiple stab wounds to her body and throat. She was fortunate to live.
“She was alone and in bed when you carried out this cowardly and vicious attack.”
McGregor left the flat after telling an off-colour joke, but went back later and attempted to kill Ms Burns as she lay in bed suffering from a migraine.
She suffered a punctured lung and an injury near her carotid artery in the attack.
McGregor denied the attempted murder, claiming he was elsewhere at the time, but he was unanimously convicted by a jury.
He was also found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by trying to destroy evidence in Kelso’s Woodside Park.
Unemployed McGregor said in evidence that the atmosphere in the flat “seemed OK” but accepted that he had been asked to leave after telling a joke that was “quite offensive”.
McGregor told defence counsel David Nicholson he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and suffered “crippling social anxiety”.
He has eight pages of previous convictions including ones serious assault, assault, drugs offences and breach of the peace.
The court was told that McGregor continues to maintain his innocence.