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Axe man hacks man over hacking fears

PC bug paranoia lead to 'life-threatening' assault

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A family friend who linked the PCs of two brothers together was attacked with an axe after one suspected he'd hacked into his machine, a Scottish court heard today.

John Wilson, 36, unemployed, attacked John Evans, an oil company analyst, after inviting him over to quiz him over his suspicions last January.

Things quickly got out of hand, culminating in Wilson assaulting Evans from behind with a tomahawk-style axe the assailant kept in his bedroom. Evans sustained a number of injuries "including a life-threatening depressed skull fracture", Advocate depute Iain Armstrong, prosecuting, told the High Court in Inverness.

In a statement, Evans said "he [Wilson] behaved like a crazy man."

Wilson, of Aberdeen, admits assaulting Evans "to the danger of his life", the BBC reports.

Evans, a friend of Wilson's brother, had agreed to link the PCs of the two siblings. However Wilson began to suspect all was not well and became convinced that a disk provided by Evans contained a Trojan horse program which allowed the latter to control his machine.

"Wilson decided to confront Evans about this and invited him to his flat," Defence advocate Colin Mackenzie told Lord Kirkwood, presiding, the BBC reports.

"By this time he had become extremely upset and certainly intended to have words with him about the hacking", said Mackenzie, adding that despite this his client had not planned to assault Evans.

Mackenzie continued: "he [Wilson] confronted him about the hacking, and was met with a degree of ridicule. He became very angry and suffered a loss of self control, and unfortunately there was in the immediate vicinity, lying on the bedroom floor, an axe with which he had been lifting metal carpet strips at his flat doorways."

The defence contends that Wilson hit Evans with the handle - not the head - of the axe.

Sentencing was adjourned until later this month for psychiatric and other reports. ®

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