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Fraserburgh car dealers guilty of revenge attack on forecourt vandal

Gordon and Morgan Murray appeared unmoved as the majority verdict was read out at Peterhead Sheriff Court.

The Murray's were on trial at Peterhead Sheriff Court
Gordon Murray and son Morgan Murray arrive at Peterhead Sheriff Court. Image: Jasperimage

Two Fraserburgh car dealers have been found guilty of attacking a vandal who caused £33,000 of damage to vehicles in their forecourt.

Murray Motors bosses Gordon Murray, 66, and son Morgan Murray, 32, had both denied the charge of assaulting Roberto Tudora in his home three years ago.

It was claimed the attack was retribution for Mr Tudora pouring a corrosive substance over cars at their South Road business a week prior to the assault.

The jury of seven men and eight women took two and a half hours to find the pair guilty by a majority with some deletions from the original charge of hamesucken assault – the act of breaking into someone’s home intending to attack them.

The charge of striking Mr Tudora on the head with a hammer was also deleted, as was the allegation they repeatedly stamped on his body and struck him with a metal pole.

The Murrays appeared unmoved as the verdict was read out.

Father and son carried out ‘nasty assault’

Fiscal depute Ruairidh McAllister had urged the jury to convict the pair and told them to reject the Murrays’ concocted version of events.

He said: “Roberto Tudora is no angel, but time and time again his account ties in with other evidence we have heard.

“It makes sense. Unlike the stories being spun by these two men – stories they have made up after events to explain away what they were doing in that house that day.

“The two 999 calls made that morning caused some very, very big problems for these men.

“They battered Roberto Tudora – and unbeknownst to them the police had been called.

“[Roberto Tudora] was scared, and he phoned the police, leaving the phone on recording the whole nasty assault.

“Mr Murray and his son had taken matters into their own hands. They were trying to find out who was behind the vandalism of their cars – and they were doing it violently.”

Sentence deferred for reports

Gordon Murray’s defence agent Leonard Birkenshaw argued that Mr Tudora had phoned the police that morning to try to “cover up” what he had done and described the 999 call as just having some “muffled scuffling” in the background.

Morgan Murray’s defence agent John McLeod told the jury to consider Mr Tudora as an unreliable witness, adding: “He is a liar. He was truculent and at times evasive. Things took a silly turn and he tried to attack Morgan Murray with a hammer.

“Morgan Murray then took that hammer away to stop anyone from being hurt.”

Sheriff Craig Findlater deferred sentencing to next month for background reports.

The court heard differing versions of events about what happened when the father and son went to Mr Tudora’s home on the morning of April 2 2021.

Mr Tudora told the jury Gordon Murray – whose address was given as Cairnhill Drive, Fraserburgh – hit him with the hammer and said Morgan – whose address was given as Mosspark, Lonmay – had been holding a metal bar “like a crowbar”.

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

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

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

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.”

The court listened to the 999 call made by Mr Tudora, who can be heard screaming and shouting for help and occasionally declaring ‘oh my god’ – while another voice can be heard shouting “who sent you?”

It had been claimed that the hammer attack was in revenge for Mr Tudora vandalising cars in the Murray Motors forecourt and causing £33,000 of damage.

Mr Tudora, 38, later pled guilty to pouring a corrosive liquid over the vehicles and received community service.

999 call played to jury

The jury also heard a 999 call from Michael McDonald, 59, who lived across the road from the Charlotte Street property.

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.”

Gordon and Morgan Murray’s version of events was very different from Mr Tudora’s.

They claim they went to the property to evict him following the previous week’s vandal attack and things only turned violent when Mr Tudora picked up the hammer and lunged at Morgan Murray.

Car dealer claimed he was acting in self defence

Being led by his defence agent Leonard Birkenshaw, Gordon Murray told how his son had come into the bedroom where Mr Tudora was and placed the hammer he had been carrying down on a cabinet.

“Morgan began removing the CCTV camera from outside the bedroom window,” Gordon Murray went on.

He told the court that it was whilst his son was leaning out of the window that Mr Tudora grabbed the discarded hammer and made a move to hit Morgan over the head with it.

He said: “I grabbed Tudora by the arm and pulled him away from Morgan, we ended up wrestling on the floor.”