Scots strongman tried to murder sister’s partner after abuse trial collapsed

A powerlifter who was a finalist in Britain’s Strongest Man tried to murder his sister’s partner after a domestic abuse trial collapsed.

John Pollock left Michael Barbour with life-threatening injuries following a brutal street attack.

Months earlier, Barbour had a string of domestic abuse charges against him dropped. He was accused of terrorising Pollock’s sister Margaret.

Michael Barbour had a string of domestic abuse charges against him dropped

Pollock – nicknamed The Machine – competed in front of 8000 people at the Fly DSA Arena in Sheffield last year in the final of Britain’s Strongest Man which was shown on Channel 5.

The attack on Barbour came after a series of incidents and threats between the two men, who were once friends.

Pollock, of Irvine, yesterday appeared at the High Court in Glasgow, where he pled guilty to attempting to murder Barbour.

He admitted carrying out an attack which left the 43-year-old scarred for life and disabled.

Scots strongman tried to murder sister's partner after abuse trial collapsed
Scottish strongman John Pollock with his sister Margaret

The court heard the violence erupted in the Ayrshire town’s Sloan Avenue on July 15, 2020.

Pollock, 45, shouted and swore at his victim before raining punches on his head and body, knocking him to the ground.

Once his victim was on the deck, Pollock repeatedly stamped and kicked Barbour on the head.

A source said: “There was a lot of bad blood between the two men.

“This was an awful attack which happened early in the evening in front of witnesses.

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“Now Pollock is going to jail and Barbour is still recovering from what happened more than a year later.”

Businessman Barbour, who owns properties, had faced 14 domestic abuse charges over his 12-year
relationship with Pollock’s sister Margaret, 46.

The case saw Barbour plead guilty to two charges – an assault on Margaret and one on her 19-year-old son, Ryan.

He admitted assaulting Margaret and spitting on her face in January 2017 and slapping Ryan the same month.

The other charges were dropped following evidence given by a prosecution witness.

Barbour was fined £1000 for the offences and was later convicted of another incident involving Margaret, for shouting and swearing at her. Her home was also targeted in a vandalism attack after the trial.

Scots strongman tried to murder sister's partner after abuse trial collapsed
Pollock left his former friend scarred for life

Dad Pollock is a well-known figure on the strongman circuit and was among 13 athletes in the final Britain’s Strongest Man in January 2020 where he finished tenth.

The event determines who qualifies from the UK to compete in the World’s Strongest Man final.

Pollock was behind bars awaiting trial when the event appeared on television screens over the festive season.

The thug worked as a landscape gardener between gym sessions. Sources say he flipped when Barbour had the majority of his domestic abuse charges dropped.

One insider said: “Police in the area knew there was a problem between Pollock and Barbour. They were well aware of the tensions between them after the domestic abuse trial.

“Pollock saw Barbour on his way home from the gym one night and just attacked him.

“His injuries were so bad that his family thought he was going to die.

“There was so much evidence against Pollock that he had to plead guilty.”

Judge Lady Scott called for background reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing and adjourned the case until next month.

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