An offshore worker who almost killed his mum in a vicious Hogmanay attack was suffering from drug-induced psychosis at the time, a court heard.
Ronald MacIver, who was earlier convicted of attempting to murder his mother Alexandra at her home in Edinbane, Skye, in December 2018, was jailed for 10 years today after a judge told him the evidence of his guilt had been “overwhelming”.
At his trial in Glasgow, the jury heard evidence that the 50-year-old rig worker brutally attacked his mum after accusing her of being cheeky.
He grabbed the 69-year-old pensioner by the throat and shook her then repeatedly punched and kicked her on the head and body, breaking her cheekbone and fracturing an eye socket.
“I just lost my temper. She was being cheeky and I lost my temper. Simple as that.”
Accused has a ‘bizarre’ attitude to case
Giving evidence his mother claimed that she had no memory of the assault.
She said: “One minute I was putting shopping away and the next minute I was in Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.”
MacIver’s defence team claimed his mother had been assaulted by someone else.
However, the accused refused to testify and the jury dismissed his claim and found him guilty of assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment and to the danger of life.
When MacIver appeared for sentence at the High Court in Livingston via a prison video link on Friday, Marco Guarino, defending, said there was little mitigation he could put forward because of the accused’s “bizarre” attitude to the case.
He admitted: “It’s the most peculiar situation I’ve ever come across as a defence solicitor.”
He said MacIver – despite having a violent past – had lived with his mother for five years without incident and, although he could be a pest when drunk, she wasn’t afraid of him.
Very likely to be involved in further offending
A medical report prepared for the court gave some insight, he said, by setting out MacIver’s “exceptionally detailed and utterly bizarre” version of events.
He went on: “His position has remained absolutely steadfast. He didn’t want to give evidence and he saw everything as a miscarriage of justice.
“Quite clearly this was a drug-induced psychosis of very severe intensity. Everybody not knowing the background here would find him to be the most bizarre of individuals.”
He added: “The risk assessment describes him as very likely to be involved in further offending and at risk of causing serious harm particularly with those he’s in a relationship with.
“Whatever happens he has to live with the fact that his mother who he lived with in her retirement has been caused significant and long-lasting harm at his hands.”
Jailing MacIver for 10 years, judge Lord Sanderson told the accused: “You struck and kicked her repeatedly on her head and body to her severe injury, permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment and to the danger of her life. Indeed, such was the violence that you inflicted upon her it’s only by great good fortune that you are not now embarking on a life sentence for her murder.”
The judge described the evidence of MacIver’s guilt as “overwhelming”.
‘You’d rather do prison time’
He said: “The attack was witnessed by a neighbour, forensic bloodstain analysis pointed clearly to you being the attacker and just how the attack had been carried out, and you confessed your guilt to the emergency services.
“Despite all that you pleaded not guilty and forced your mother to give evidence against you.”
Lord Sanderson highlighted that MacIver had four previous convictions over the last 20 years, three of which were for assault, including one for stabbing his brother, for which he had received a prison sentence.
He added: “According to the social work report you accept no responsibility for your crime and express no remorse for the effect, both psychological and physical, upon your mother. You have been assessed as at risk of causing significant and serious harm to others and you have a propensity for compulsive violent behaviour.
“You have stated that you’re not willing to engage with any agency that might assist in controlling or managing that behaviour stating that you’d rather do the prison time. That raises serious issues of public protection.”