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Fraserburgh car dealers on trial for alleged hammer attack on forecourt vandal

Father and son Gordon and Morgan Murray deny attacking Roberto Tudora and are standing trial at Peterhead Sheriff Court.

Robert Tudora, left, claims he was assaulted by the father and son behind Murray Motors in Fraserburgh. Image: DC Thomson / Facebook
Robert Tudora, left, claims he was assaulted by the father and son behind Murray Motors in Fraserburgh. Image: DC Thomson / Facebook

Two Fraserburgh businessmen have gone on trial accused of carrying out a vicious hammer attack on a man and threatening to kill him.

Father and son car dealers, Gordon Murray, 66, and Morgan Murray, 34, deny assaulting Roberto Tudora.

Gordon Murray has submitted a special defence of self-defence, claiming he was protecting his son from being attacked.

Both men are listed as company directors of Murray Motors in Fraserburgh, a car dealership on the town’s South Road.

Murray's Motors in Fraserburgh was the victim of vandalism in 2021.
The accused are bosses at Murray Motors in Fraserburgh.

Peterhead Sheriff Court heard how Mr Tudora was a tenant of Gordon Murray in 2021, renting a property on Charlotte Street in Fraserburgh.

He had been under suspicion of vandalising cars with a corrosive liquid on the Murray Motors’ forecourt the week before the alleged hammer attack.

Mr Tudora, 38, later pled guilty to causing £33,000 of damage and received community service.

The court heard that on the morning of April 2 2021, Mr Tudora was woken by a loud noise at his front door.

“It was my landlord”, Mr Tudora said. “And his son.”

Roberto Tudora gave evidence at Peterhead Sheriff Court. Image: DC Thomson

The jury heard that Mr Tudora immediately rang the police when he realised the Murrays had entered his house. He said: “I was scared – I went back in my bedroom.”

The court listened to the 999 call made by Mr Tudora, who told the court the men had been armed with a hammer and a crowbar.

On the audio clip, Mr Tudora can be heard screaming and shouting for help and occasionally declaring ‘oh my god’ – while another voice can be heard shouting “who sent you?”

Mr Tudora recounted being hit by Gordon Murray with the hammer and said Morgan Murray had been holding a metal bar “like a crowbar”.

Hammer blow on head

He described being struck to the floor and the Murrays both continuing to attack him by punching and kicking him.

“The first blow with the hammer was to the left side of my head,” he added.

Asked by fiscal depute Ruairidh McAllister what Gordon Murray had done next, Mr Tudora replied: “He was just punching me, on my body and head – all over – wherever he could get.

“I kept trying to scream my address because I had dialled the emergency services.”

Police attended and as Mr Tudora could hear their sirens, he said the Murrays grabbed his bedding and went downstairs.

“I think they told the police on the way out that they were helping me move out of the house,” Mr Tudora explained. “But the police saw the blood on my face, I can’t remember what happened afterwards.”

The court was also shown body-worn camera footage from one of the police officers who came to Mr Tudora’s house at just after 8am that day.

‘They both jumped on me’

In the footage, Mr Tudora can first be seen sitting on his stairs, barely able to stand and he later shows the officer upstairs to his bedroom where the alleged attack took place.

At moments Mr Tudora seems unable to stand and a bruise is visible on his forehead along with some blood.

He told the court that he had been taken to Aberdeen’s Royal Infirmary, and left six hours later having been given the all-clear and painkillers.

Under cross-examination by Gordon Murray’s defence agent Leonard Birkenshaw, it was suggested that when the Murrays entered Mr Tudora’s bedroom the hammer had been put down on a bedside cabinet.

“That’s not true,” replied Mr Tudora.

Mr Birkenshaw then suggested that he had picked the hammer up himself and started attacking Morgan Murray with it.

“No,” Mr Tudora replied.

Mr Birkenshaw continued: “That’s when Gordon Murray went for you.”

“No,” Mr Tudora answered. “They both jumped on me. Gordon Murray was the first to strike.”

Previous convictions in Romania

Mr Birkenshaw then brought up Mr Tudora’s history of convictions from Romania, including 20 of dishonesty.

Mr Tudora replied to say he had never assaulted anybody, and said: “These were from Romania, not this country.”

Mr Birkenshaw also asked Mr Tudora about the vandalism on the cars owned by Murray Motors.

“I pled guilty to that, it was my mistake and I admitted that,” Mr Tudora replied.

Mr Tudora was also cross-examined by Morgan Murray’s defence agent John MacLeod, who read parts of his police statement to him.

Employee’s evidence

Mr Tudora stated that Gordon Murray had been asking “who had been behind him”, referring to the car vandalism and he had said no one was.

The court also heard evidence from Robert White, who had worked at Murray Motors at the time of the incident.

He said he had been asked by Gordon Murray to go with him to Charlotte Street to “get into the house”.

He said he was told that the flat was one owned by Gordon Murray and that he had been locked out, telling the court he had been instructed to take a crowbar and hammer with him.

Mr White, 33, said a fellow employee, David Rennie, had also joined him and Gordon and Morgan Murray met them at Charlotte Street.

Mr White said the hammer was used to open the door and Gordon and Morgan Murray entered the house while he waited outside.

Housemate heard alleged victim screaming

Fiscal McAllister asked Mr White numerous questions about how events had unfolded, but he kept answering by saying he couldn’t remember.

He eventually remembered that he had been given a bag of tools to take back to the Murrays’ garage and he left Charlotte Street on his own, not seeing the Murrays again until later the same day.

One of Mr Tudora’s housemates, Adrian Bozoi, 31, told the court he had also been woken by loud banging on their door on the morning of the incident.

He said he and the third housemate had been told by one of the men to stay downstairs in the living room and “the landlord and his son” had asked: “Where is Roberta?”

Mr Bozoi then told the court that he then heard Mr Tudora screaming.

“I could hear bangs and could hear him shouting ’25 Charlotte Street’ – that was what he was shouting,” he said.

‘I think he is being done in’

“When the police arrived, I told them to go upstairs – because I thought they were going to kill him.”

Retired army officer Michael McDonald, 59, was a resident in Charlotte Street in 2021 and told the jury he had spotted four men outside Mr Tudora’s property and could see they had a bag containing a hammer.

“The door went in quite quickly,” Mr McDonald said. “I phoned the police.”

His 999 call was also played to the court.

Mr McDonald is heard telling the call handler that the upstairs CCTV camera had been ripped off the wall, adding: “I think he is being done in.

“I think he had done some damage to a local garage. I believe he is the suspect for damage to £100,000 of cars, I think he was charged on Monday.

“That’s the rumour going about. They have ripped his CCTV out.

“That guy is in serious trouble.”

Car dealers deny charges

The two businessmen deny the charges and Gordon Murray submitted a special defence of self-defence of another, claiming he was protecting Morgan Murray by wrestling the hammer out of the hand of Mr Tudora.

The charges allege that the men forced entry into Mr Tudora’s home, brandishing a hammer, striking him on the head with the weapon causing him to fall to the floor.

The case is being heard at Peterhead Sheriff Court.

It also states that they allegedly continued the attack by repeatedly punching, kicking, and stamping on Mr Tudora’s head and body – while also hitting him with a wooden pole – all to the man’s injury.

The trial being heard by Sheriff Craig Findlater continues.