Brutal crowbar attacker jailed for breaking victim’s skull

Scott Nelson was jailed at the High Court in Livingston.
Scott Nelson was jailed at the High Court in Livingston.

A man who battered another man’s skull with a crowbar in a murderous attack ha been jailed for 12 and a half years.

Scott Nelson burst into Greig Ramsay’s home in the middle of the night and assaulted another man before viciously attacking Mr Ramsay in bed.

The horrific injuries he inflicted have left Mr Ramsay (38) with a huge dent to the left of his head, partially paralysed and struggling to speak.

In an emotional victim impact statement lodged at the High Court in Livingston Mr Ramsay said: “The quality of living that I enjoyed prior to the attack may be gone for ever.

“I have lost the freedom to plan out the course of my own path in life and have to rely heavily on others for even the simplest of undertakings.

“This will be my life sentence brought about by the cruel and vindictive actions of others.”

Nelson (28) had denied attempting to murder Mr Ramsay and beating up Mark Christie (42) over an alleged gambling debt but was convicted by a jury after trial.

The jury heard that Nelson, who was on bail at the time, went Christmas shopping after savagely attacking his two victims in Mr Christie’s home in Cawdor Crescent, Kirkcaldy.

Michael Anderson, defending, claimed Nelson was a great support to his wife and four children, particularly his eldest son who had complex health difficulties including epilepsy.

Passing sentence, Judge Lord Uist told Nelson: “Lawlessness of the sort in which you engaged, with such serious consequences for your victims, cannot be tolerated in a civilised society.

“Had it not been for the skill of the doctors who saved Mr Ramsay’s life you would now be facing a life sentence for murder.”

The judge went on: “You, along with two other people, entered the house occupied by Mark Christie in the early hours of the morning, assaulted him downstairs and then went upstairs and carried out a vicious assault on Greig Ramsay, as a result of which he sustained horrific injuries.

“He suffered a bruise to the left shoulder, a laceration to the scalp, a severe skull fracture under the laceration, cerebral contusions and a subarachnoid haemorrhage – that is, bleeding on the brain – underlying the skull fracture and a fracture to the right cheekbone.

“At hospital he had to have an emergency operation involving removal of part of the skull in order to repair the bleeding to his brain, leaving a surgical scar 16 centimetres in length.

“He has been left with a noticeable depression in his skull and will require a further operation to insert a plate under the skin to improve the appearance of the depression.

“He will be at risk of seizures for life and has been left with cognitive deficits and problems with speech and memory. His injuries have had a profound effect on his quality of life.

“He is no longer able to work, has weakness down the left side of his body and experiences great difficulty in speaking. Had it not been for medical intervention he would have died.”

He said Mr Christie had also been injured, but not so badly. He sustained swollen eyes, a broken nose, two lacerations next to the right eye, a laceration next to the left eye, a laceration to the right eyelid, a subconjunctival haemorrhage – a broken blood vessel – to the left eye, and possible corneal trauma.

He also suffered fractures to the lower bones of the eye sockets and double vision and had to undergo surgery to repair the broken bones to his eye sockets.

Jailing Nelson, Lord Uist told him: “Your criminal record discloses five previous court appearances, none of which has resulted in a custodial sentence, but you have a conviction in the High Court for assault to injury in January 2008 and have been convicted of breaching bail on three occasions.

“I have considered the criminal justice social work report on you and all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation, but violence of the sort which you perpetrated must result in a lengthy prison sentence.

“On charges 1 and 2, taken together, the sentence which I impose is 12 years 6 months imprisonment from December 27, 2018, 6 months of which is attributable to the bail aggravations.”

Police in Fife welcome the sentencDetective Inspector Paul Dick from Fife Division’s Criminal Investigations Department said: “Scott Nelson carried out a brutal attack on the man who has been left with life-changing injuries as a result of the attack.

“The incident happened just before Christmas with Nelson arrested by detectives the following day who were conducting inquiries under Operation Path - Fife Division’s response to tackling violent crime across the Kingdom.

“Nelson has not accepted responsibility for his actions and I hope that the sentencing today will allow the victim and his family to move forward. I thank them for their help in this enquiry and also the officers who worked tirelessly on this case.

“We understand that violent crime brings fear and alarm to local communities and we are committed to ensuring that violent offenders are brought before the courts and will continue to work alongside with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to bring violent offenders to justice.”