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Daily Record
Daily Record
Dave Finlay

Car thief tried to murder Scots garage staff with stolen motor after workers refused cash payment for fuel

A car driver who tried to murder four men at a garage forecourt after being told only card payments could be accepted for fuel was warned he faced a lengthy jail sentence.

Charlie Tunstall repeatedly reversed a stolen Volkswagen Golf GTI at mechanics and struck one victim with the vehicle during the attack. Ewan Burt was thrown backwards into the air and landed on concrete at Bob's Mechanical Repairs, at Perth Road, Birnam, in Perthshire, bleeding from head injuries.

One of his colleagues said his eyes were rolled back and his tongue hanging out and told the High Court in Edinburgh: "I thought he was seconds from death."

Tunstall, 25, had denied attacking and attempting to murder Mr Burt, Robert McMahon, Owen McMahon and Robert MacDonald in the incident on January 14, 2019, but was found guilty of the offence. A judge told Tunstall, from London, following the jury's verdict: "It is a very serious charge."

Lord Mulholland said that the murder bid on Mr Hurt had caused the victim injury and had significant long term effects. He told Tunstall, who shook his head in the dock after hearing the guilty verdict, that it would inevitably result in a lengthy sentence of imprisonment.

Lord Mulholland told jurors: "He has a significant criminal record. I will take account of that."

Tunstall tried to murder four men at a garage in Birnam, Perthshire (Google Street View)

Tunstall's previous convictions include car theft and he was jailed at a London court in 2019 for 81 months for conspiracy to rob. The court heard that the VW Golf was stolen in Enfield, in London, in November 2018 and later recovered in the Waltham Forest area of the city in February 2019, with a dent on the boot lid.

The vehicle was bearing false registration plates when it was used in the attack at Birnam and was seen minutes later at a filling station in Perth with different fake plates. Robert McMahon, 42, said the VW Golf had come into the premises and an enquiry was made about paying for fuel with cash.

Tunstall began swearing and bawling after he was told it was card payments only for the petrol pumps, which were a separate business. Threats and abuse were hurled before the driver began reversing aggressively.

Jurors were shown footage of the car attack which was captured on CCTV. Mr McMahon said he had taken a photo of the vehicle with the intention of giving it to the police. He said that after Mr Burt was struck by the vehicle there was a lot of blood.

He said: "I thought he was seconds from death."

The victim had head wounds stitched and sutured. He has no memory of the events that led to him being injured.

Tunstall was identified as the perpetrator of the attack by several witnesses. Sentence was deferred on him for the preparation of a background report. He remains in custody and is due to be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on August 22.

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