Father and Son Tortured Host with Kettle at Scottish Drinking Party

By Will Godfrey 11/02/11

An alcohol-fueled house party got way out of hand, leading to a particularly sadistic assault.

Premeditation required Thinkstock

A hard-drinking father and son, who viciously subjected a man to an agonizing ordeal using a vodka bottle, a knife and the water from a boiling kettle, were jailed by a court in Edinburgh yesterday. Paul Farrell, 44, and his 19-year-old son Ross Gourley gatecrashed a drinking party in the southern Scottish town of Galashiels on March 28. After large quantities of vodka and beer were consumed, a fight broke out between Farrell and the host, 42-year-old George Anderson. In a savage attack, Farrell struck Anderson repeatedly on the head with a vodka bottle and slashed him with a knife. As Anderson lay on the floor, fearing for his life, he heard Farrell instructing his son to "boil the kettle." The attackers then poured the water over Anderson, inflicting extensive scalding to his face, arm and shoulder—and laughed as they did it. The judge who sentenced them commented, "I have seen pictures which portray the nature of the horrific injuries you inflicted on him and he will be permanently scarred as a result." Anderson was saved by the speedy arrival of police, along with an ambulance. Gourley's lawyer said her client's behavior was "fueled by far too much alcohol," and that he regretted it. He was sentenced to six years in prison. Farrell's lawyer stressed that his client had been taking Valium—which can increase sensitivity to the effects of alcohol—but that also failed to impress the judge and he received eight years.

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of Substance.com, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.