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Robber tried to reverse over man while stealing his car

Steven Payne tried to kill Andrew O'Donnell during the theft in Paisley.

Court: Steven Payne will be sentenced in January.
Court: Steven Payne will be sentenced in January.

A robber tried to kill a man while he was stealing his car.

Steven Payne reversed at Andrew O'Donnell during the incident in April.

Mr O'Donnell had earlier clung on desperately to his Volkswagen Polo as Payne took it from outside his home in Paisley, Renfrewshire.

The 26-year-old victim recalled how he feared for his life with Payne hurtling back towards him as he lay stricken on the road.

He told jurors: "If I had not jumped on to the pavement, I would have been under the car."

Payne had denied attempted murder, insisting he had only gone out to steal that night.

He was convicted of the charge following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

The crime occurred outside the home Mr O'Donnell shared with his police officer girlfriend.

He had been sleeping on the couch when he woke up to find "two figures in the living room".

One was Payne, who was joined by his then partner.

'He started to accelerate away and I just grabbed onto the car. I was holding onto the roof and the car door. I was just trying to keep up basically. I would say he was travelling at 30-40mph.'
Andrew O'Donnell

Payne then raced out the door and jumped into the couple's Volkswagen.

Mr O'Donnell recalled: "I ran over to the car and tried to open the driver's door. As I tried to grab the occupant, he started to drive. I said: 'Get out of my car'.

"He started to accelerate away and I just grabbed on to the car. I was holding on to the roof and the car door."

Mr O'Donnell, who was not wearing any shoes, clung on as it sped off.

He said: "I was just trying to keep up basically. I would say he was travelling at 30mph to 40mph. I was able to keep up but it got to a point my feet were being dragged.

"I thought I have to let go - it got to a higher speed and I pushed myself away from the car. I had to let go because I did not feel safe. I thought there was a chance I may end up in a worse state.

"I thought I could go under the car because I could not control my feet as I had been dragged along."

Mr O'Donnell said the driver carried on but then suddenly stopped.

The man recalled the car's engine being "really loud" as it reversed back.

Mr O'Donnell said: "I jumped on to the pavement as I was scared for my life."

The witness said the car reversed back a total of three times.

Mr O'Donnell told jurors if he had not moved the final time he "would have been under the car".

He later needed hospital treatment for a series of grazes and blisters as a result of the incident and was off work for around three weeks.

Payne, also of Paisley, told jurors he had been "out to steal" that night.

His partner had taken car keys and a phone from Mr O'Donnell's home before the pair returned to see if they "could get any cash".

Payne recalled Mr O'Donnell chasing after him. He said he got behind the wheel of the Volkswagen but was not initially aware of the man holding on.

He told jurors he only later reversed the car to try to collect his partner, who he had left behind.

Payne said: "I did not intend to hit him (Mr O'Donnell) or hurt anyone in any shape or form. My only thought was to get my partner.

"I feel disgusted at his injuries. I think about it every night but I did not attempt to murder anyone."

Prosecutors said he had used the car as a "weapon" and had not cared about Mr O'Donnell "one little bit".

It emerged after the verdict Payne has a long criminal record including a conviction for assault and robbery.

Judge Lord Matthews deferred sentencing for reports until January.

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