St Andrews University student extradited from USA to face charge of attempted murder

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Alexander Hilton finally appeared before a sheriff to face the charge more than four years after the alleged incident and following a lengthy extradition battle.

Hilton is accused of trying to kill Robert Forbes in February 2011 at the St Andrews University New Hall Ball.

It is alleged he spiked Mr Forbes’ red wine with methanol, which is used in antifreeze.

Mr Forbes, who was 19 at the time and is also from the US, suffered severe nausea and headaches for days and started to lose his vision before spending a week in hospital.

He would have died had he not sought medical help.

Hilton returned to his home in Princeton, Massachusetts, in March 2011 - around two weeks after the alleged incident.

That sparked a lengthy extradition row, with his US lawyers claiming he suffers from severe mental illness which would be exacerbated - and possibly prompt him to attempt suicide - if he was sent to Scotland for trial.

But now Hilton will finally face trial in a Scottish court over the allegations.

The 24-year-old, of Princeton, Massachussets, appeared in private on petition at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Hilton was charged with assault to severe injury and permanent impairment and attempted murder.

He made no plea or declaration during the brief hearing and the case was continued for further examination.

Sheriff Elizabeth Munro granted the US national bail ahead of further court dates being set.