Motherwell hammer thug jailed after key witness changed evidence after perjury charge

A Motherwell thug convicted of a knife and hammer attack has been jailed for more than four years.

Lee Hamilton, 32, of Forgewood Road, Motherwell, was found guilty of assaulting Cameron Earl to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life, and robbing him.

Co-accused William Smith, 31, of Imperial Drive, Airdrie, was cleared of the charge.

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Hamilton Sheriff Court heard the attack happened in Ettrick Avenue, Bellshill in April 2018. Hamilton, who has a string of previous convictions, was found guilty after trial in December. The case was adjourned for a criminal justice social work report and he returned to court for sentence this week.

Sheriff Andrew McIntyre jailed Hamilton for four years and five months. The sheriff also ordered him to be put under supervision for three years on his release from prison. The victim of the attack has since died, though not as a result of his injuries. Hamilton was convicted after a key witness changed her evidence.

During the trial Leeanne Campbell was charged with perjury after her evidence to the court. She then returned to the witness box and admitted what she'd said was lies. Ms Campbell then assured the fiscal she would give a true account of the events that happened inside and outside her home in Ettrick Avenue.

She said a number of people, including both accused, were there and Mr Earl was attacked after sending texts to a female. Ms Campbell, 28, said Hamilton and Smith punched and kicked him. She heard Hamilton yell 'Stab him' and saw Smith holding a knife while Hamilton had a hammer.

Mr Earl fled from the house, followed by the two accused.

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Campbell said: "They started to attack him again with the hammer and knife before he stumbled away." The victim was also robbed. She added that Hamilton and Smith returned to her home where they borrowed fresh jumpers and put their bloodstained tops in bags.

At the same court last month, Hamilton admitted using a hammer to smash the windows of a property in Watson Street last September. He also admitted threatening to kill the householder if the police were called. He was jailed for nine months.