Roofer Fails in Attempted Murder Conviction Appeal

A roofer found guilty of attempting to kill a colleague following a drinking session just days after they first met at work, has had an appeal against his conviction rejected, despite claiming he was acting in self-defence.

Thomas Telford, who was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years’ in prison after being convicted of the attempted murder of Callum Thomas, argued that the trial judge was wrong to rule that his claim of self-defence could not apply to the case.

Telford was found guilty in November 2017 following a trial at Livingston Crown Court. Charges against included, attempted murder, assault of a neighbour and disposal of a weapon.

The trial heard evidence that Telford and the complainer Thomas, who were both roofers, had first met in August 2016, when working on a site in Edinburgh city centre.

After finishing work on 12 August they went drinking, before going back to Thomas’ house. Thomas told the court that he had gone for a shower and that when he returned Telford was stabbing the wall with a kitchen knife. Thomas punched Telford, and Telford retaliated by stabbing him twice.

A neighbour, who heard the commotion, ran into the flat and tried to intervene, only to be pinned against a wall by Telford. Thomas reportedly tried to dive over a couch to escape to the kitchen area, but as he did so he was stabbed a further four times in the back.

Telford lodged a special defence of self-defence in respect of his attempted murder charge, but he did not give evidence.

The trial judge concluded that the claim of self-defence failed as a matter of law, as there was no imminent danger to Telford and he had a means of escape when he had used the knife.

Refusing the appeal, the appeal judges said they were “unable to fault” the trial judge’s decision.

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