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Man chopped off disabled woman's hand and left house with it

Stephen Brisbane, 34, carried out the brutal crime on the woman who was in a wheelchair.

Dundee: Stephen Brisbane attacked a disabled woman in her home.
Dundee: Stephen Brisbane attacked a disabled woman in her home. Police Scotland / STV

A man has admitted walking into a wheelchair-bound woman's home and chopping off one of her hands.

At the High Court in Glasgow on Friday, Stephen Brisbane, 34, pleaded guilty to severing 62-year-old Sandra McGowan's right hand and taking it away with him when he left.

Brisbane managed to enter Ms McGowan's Dundee home on February 14, 2018, using an electronic key fob.

He seized hold of her right wrist and hacked it off with a knife.

During the horror ordeal Ms McGowan lost consciousness and Brisbane, from Dundee, picked up her hand and carried it away with him.

The allegations that Brisbane caused Ms McGowan to fall from her wheelchair onto the ground was deleted from the charge as was the claim that he robbed her of a ring and failed to get medical assistance for her.

Brisbane admitted assaulting Ms McGowan to her severe injury, permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment and to the danger of her life.

None of the facts in the case were narrated in court.

Prosecutor Richard Goddard QC said: "The plea was only agreed in the course of this morning and there is some considerable background to this case. I would ask the case be deferred for a full narrative to be heard."

The court was told that Brisbane had a number of previous convictions.

His plea of not guilty to earlier that night entering Ms McGowan's home and demanding drugs and money from her and stealing an electronic key fob, remote controls and a mobile phone and holder was accepted.

Brisbane also denied stealing a mobile phone from his sister Claire Brisbane at a flat in Pitalpin Court, Dundee on February 13, 2018. This not guilty plea was also accepted.

Brisbane was due to go to trial in Edinburgh in July, but admitted his guilt during a continued preliminary hearing.

Judge Johanna Johnston deferred sentence until later this month.

She told Brisbane, who is in custody: "You have accepted your guilt to a serious offence."

Defence QC Mark Stewart said: "There is a medical background to this matter and it may take some time to put that into a narrative."

Mr Stewart will give his plea in mitigation when the case next calls.

Following the court case, detective inspector Tom Leonard said: "The attack on Sandra McGowan was brutal and horrific and resulted in life changing injuries for her.

"Our thoughts continue to be with Sandra and her family.

"I would like to take the opportunity to commend the officers and ambulance staff who attended the scene in the first instance and administered first aid to keep Sandra alive despite the severity of the injury."

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