by RORY REYNOLDS
A MAN who tried to kill a jeweller after robbing him on the way to his shop has been jailed for 10 years.
Alastair Thomson attacked Gareth Steven with a hammer and a knife as he walked to his shop in Prestwick, Ayrshire.
Gareth, 30, was scarred for life in the attack which left him dying in a pool of blood in the street.
A passer-by previously told the High Court how she helped save his life after she found Gareth pleading for help after the savage attack in November 2007.
Martha Clark told the court: “He said ‘help me, help, me – tell my mum and dad that I love them.”
The incident saw Thomas make off with £50,000 worth of jewellery in a brief-case that he snatched from his victim who gave chase.
Today at a hearing at the High Court sitting in Livingston Thomson was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty by a jury last month of robbing and attempting to murder the stricken jeweller.
He will also be placed on licence for two years when released.
Judge Lord Bracadale said that the extended custodial sentence was handed down because Thomson was prepared to use “extreme violence” against his victim.
He added that the incident was a particularly “savage” attack.
He said: “You left him in a condition that but for his rescue he could have died.
“The Consultant Surgeon did not expect him to survive.”
Gavin Anderson QC, speaking in defence of his client, told the court that Thomson had no previous conviction and was not otherwise deemed a “high risk” to the public.
DNA evidence heard previously helped with the conviction of Thomson’s Ayr United football scarf was found near the scene.
His victim Gareth was left with near fatal injuries to the head, diaphragm, stomach, spleen and liver in the brutal assault.
He had to undergo an emergency operation which left him with a scar running from his shoulder to his belly button.
During the trial, Gareth who had chased the robber for his brief case, previously recalled the attack. saying: “I grabbed him and he fell back down off the wall.
“I could clearly see he had my brief case in his left hand and a knife in his right.
“He spun round to show me the knife and I raised my hands towards him and emplored him ‘please don’t’.
“He said ‘don’t make me use this’.
“I reached out my right hand to take my briefcase and he stabbed me.”