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Man found guilty of brutal hammer attack in Perthshire town

John Davidson attacked his victim outside his home in Isla Road, Alyth
John Davidson attacked his victim outside his home in Isla Road, Alyth

A Perthshire dad who battered a man with a hammer on his doorstop has been warned he faces “significant” jail time.

John Davidson “tooled up” and bludgeoned rival John Sturrock when he turned up at his home in Alyth.

Davidson, 36, went on trial at Perth Sheriff Court this week accused of attacking Mr Sturrock, leaving him severely injured and permanently impaired, on June 25, 2020.

His solicitor David Holmes lodged a special defence of provocation.

Davidson told the court if he hadn’t used the hammer against Mr Sturrock, he would have been left “lying on the ground.”

But jurors took less than an hour to find him unanimously guilty of the assault.

Sheriff Gillian Wade told Davidson: “Standing the verdict of the jury, you can expect a significant custodial sentence.”

Tooled up

The court heard that Mr Sturrock had been drinking with an ex-partner when he came across Davidson’s name in her phone.

He fired off a series of texts, before walking round to Davidson’s home in Isla Road.

Mr Sturrock told the trial: “I was going to punch him on the pus.”

Perth court latest news
Perth Sheriff Court.

The court heard he stood outside the property and shouted for Davidson.

Fiscal depute Michael Sweeney said: “Mr Sturrock was unarmed.

“Mr Davidson escalates the situation by picking up a hammer before going outside. He tooled up.”

Mr Sweeney told jurors that Davidson rained down blows on Mr Sturrock’s head.

“He has used a hammer because he wanted to do damage,” he said.

“There was no provocation here. He was anticipating this fight.”

Police search

The trial heard that police were scrambled to the scene, and Davidson was found hiding in nearby woods at 4am.

He was hunted down by a police dog, Mr Sweeney said.

“Mr Davidson ducked when he saw the police.

“That is not the actions of someone who was acting in self defence.”

Mr Holmes said that Mr Sturrock was a “man intent on violence” who had consumed drink and drugs that evening.

He told the court his client was hoovering and doing chores when Mr Sturrock arrived.

When asked by Mr Holmes what would happened if he hadn’t picked up the hammer, Davidson told the trial: “I would be lying on the ground.”

Sheriff Wade refused bail and Davidson was remanded in custody.

He will be brought back to court for sentencing on March 11.

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