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Man who repeatedly stabbed pensioner in murder bid jailed

Billy Smith believed his victim, Margaret Agnew, associated with a man he thought was a paedophile.

Attack: Billy Smith (left) was jailed for eight years.
Attack: Billy Smith (left) was jailed for eight years. Spindrift

A man who repeatedly stabbed a pensioner in a murder bid has been jailed for eight years.

Billy Smith attacked Margaret Agnew at her home in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire last October.

Mrs Agnew, who was 69 at the time of the attack, had to undergo a life saving operation.

On Friday, the High Court in Glasgow heard that Smith targeted the house because Mrs Agnew was continuing to associate with a man he believed was a paedophile.

Smith admitted pleading guilty to attempting to murder Mrs Agnew.

Judge Lord Mulholland told Smith: "This woman required an operation to save her life. Whatever your motivation, you are not entitled to take the law into your own hands.

"The law of the jungle does not apply in these courts. This lady had done nothing to you."

Smith, who is assessed as a high risk of re-offending, was also ordered to be monitored in the community for three years after his release from jail.

His new sentence will start at the expiry of a 27-month sentence he is currently serving.

Smith was said to have been "unimpressed" that Mrs Agnew continued to be in contact with the man. Smith believed the man had abused children.

Prosecutor Owen Mullan said the OAP was attacked with a "knife or screwdriver-type implement".

He added the crime appeared to be a "revenge attack" against the individual known to Mrs Agnew. This person was staying with the pensioner that night.

Smith stormed into the house and ranted: "I am going to kill you both."

Mrs Agnew ended up being severely hurt. She was initially struck on the shoulder, slumped to the ground before being hit again on the body. Smith, of Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, then fled.

Police soon arrived at the property and Mrs Agnew identified Smith as her attacker.

She suffered six wounds and needed 40 stitches. The OAP ended up losing three stone in weight as a result of her ordeal.

Mr Mullan: "Without surgical intervention, she would have died."

Smith's defence counsel Tony Lenehan said "any malice" the thug had for the woman was "nothing" compared to what he thought of the other individual.

Mr Lenehan added: "He has expressed his remorse for the lady who was seriously injured."

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