A MAN who carried out a brutal murder bid after turning up at a house with selection box gifts in the days before Christmas was jailed for six years and nine months today.

Barry Smart viciously stamped on his victim and inflicted knife wounds on him during the attack at an address in Galashiels.

A judge told 34-year-old Smart at the High Court in Edinburgh that his victim, Michael Ledgerwood, had sustained serious injuries.

Lord Woolman said: "You accept responsibility for at least part of the attack, although you claim to have no memory of using a knife."

The judge said he took into account the absence of premeditation in the assault, the remorse Smart has since expressed, his mental health difficulties and also noted the significant injuries he sustained in a car crash.

He told Smart: "You are a relatively young man. You still have the potential to contribute to society."

Smart launched the attack on 36-year-old Mr Ledgerwood after he arrived at the house in Beech Avenue on December 12 last year with another man.

Mr Ledgerwood said that when he turned up at the address Smart was there with others and "seemed pretty much okay".

But he told the court that at one point he turned round and was suddenly hit on the back of the head by Smart.

Mr Ledgerwood said: "I went straight to the floor. He started stamping on me. That's when my memory went a wee bit hazy."

He said Smart was stamping on his head and side and added: "It was about three or four times until I was knocked out."

"I was lying flat out. I can sort of remember someone saying 'he has had enough, he has had enough Barry'," he said.

He said that after the attack he was helped to a car and taken to Borders General Hospital.

Mr Ledgerwood added: "I was really dazed. I knew I had had a kicking, but I wasn't aware of my face."

Advocate depute Graeme Jessop asked him what was wrong with his face and he replied: "It had been slashed open twice - down my face and my neck across my throat and windpipe."

He was transferred to St John's Hospital in Livingston, in West Lothian, where stitches and sutures were put in his wounds, with one requiring 30 surgical stitches.

The left side of his face is now numb following the attack upon him.

Smart, a prisoner in Edinburgh, had earlier denied attempting to murder Mr Ledgerwood, but was convicted by a jury.

He was found guilty of repeatedly punching him on the head and body, repeatedly stamping on his head and body until he lost consciousness and repeatedly striking him on the head and neck with a knife to his severe injury and danger of life during the assault.

Defence counsel Sean Templeton said: "This was not a premeditated attack. He had no intention of killing anyone."

Mr Templeton said Smart had gone to the house with selection boxes to give to family members of his then girlfriend.

He said Smart, a Londoner, had been prescribed painkillers following a car accident but had also become involved with illicit drugs.

The defence counsel said that at the time of the attack he also had poor mental health which "fuelled his anger and extreme reaction".