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Thugs in Inverness murder bid to await sentence at High Court in Glasgow over Friars Street attack

By Court Reporter

High Court of Justiciary on Saltmarket, Glasgow. Picture: Tony Webster, via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)].
High Court of Justiciary on Saltmarket, Glasgow. Picture: Tony Webster, via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)].

TWO thugs used a vacuum cleaner to try and kill a friend in a brutal murder bid.

Colin Dingwall (21) and Stephen Burns (25) pounced on Lee Fraser in the victim's home in Friars Street, Inverness on December 16 last year.

The 27-year-old was left with injuries including a fractured skull following the attack.

Mr Fraser was battered with the vacuum cleaner, pots, and bottles and was also punched, kicked and struck with a knife.

He was found bundled in a cupboard when police later arrived at the scene.

Dingwall and Burns, who initially denied being involved in the assault, now face lengthy jail terms after each admitting an attempted murder charge at the High Court in Glasgow.

The motive for the violence is not known but, the duo were at Mr Fraser's flat when Burns initially lashed out.

Prosecutor Derick Nelson told the court: “They remained mostly silent other than to tell Lee Fraser: 'You are going to die today'.”

After the violence ended, Mr Fraser was tied up with a bedsheet and shoved in a cupboard.

It was a passer-by who heard the victim's cries for help.

The attackers meantime called a woman to pick them up at a local supermarket.

Dingwall, of Heather Road, Inverness, claimed he had to “get out of town”.

One of them was later heard during the journey admitting they had “just slashed a male called Lee”.

A paramedic who initially treated Lee branded his injuries “horrific”.

The court was told that Mr Fraser had moved out of the Inverness area after the attack as he was too scared to return.

Mr Nelson told the court that, after being traced by police, Dingwall denied knowing Mr Fraser had been assaulted and did not understand why he was being questioned as he was "such a good friend.”

Burns, of Woodside Village, Inverness also insisted he was on good terms with the victim.

The court was told the pair already had lengthy criminal records.

Both were remanded as sentencing was deferred until next month.

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