A man miraculously survived a brutal assault which left him with a PITCHFORK embedded in his skull.
Hugh Buckley, 54, was repeatedly stabbed in the head and left for dead after a paranoid friend launched an horrific attack on him with the farm tool.
Thomas Pollock sank the pitchfork into Hugh’s forehead and fled the scene leaving the grandfather of seven unconscious – with the prongs sticking out of his neck.
Firefighters sawed off the handle of the pitchfork and he was rushed to hospital where medics removed the prongs from his brain and he eventually woke up after three months in a coma.
Hugh now lives in a specialist care home for people with brain injuries, but has not managed to speak since the attack.
Heartbroken daughter Kathleen Buckley, 35, said: ”The thought of that pitchfork covered in blood haunts me.
”The fact that someone could take a big farming tool like that and put it in my dad’s head makes me sick to my stomach.
”He will be scarred with those prongs for the rest of his life. The doctors saved him from death but he is not my dad any more.
”He’s lost his life because of this, he is in a home needing 24-hour care and unable to speak when he should be happy, he should be healthy and playing with his grandchildren.”
Father-of-six Hugh was attacked by Thomas Pollock on July 14 last year in his home of Clydebank, Glasgow.
The High Court at Dumbarton heard he had gone round for dinner to a friend’s house.
The jury was told his pal, who was paranoid and believed he was being watched and had had his food poisoned, left the room during the visit.
He returned with a pitchfork and repeatedly stabbed Hugh in the head.
Hugh was left lying unconscious on the floor in a pool of blood, where he was found with the pitchfork sticking out of his neck the next day.
He was taken to the Western Infirmary in Glasgow where it was said firefighters used specialist sawing equipment to remove the fork handle.
They went into the operating theatre too to help remove the prongs from his head.
Farm labourer Hugh’s terrified family were told he had severe bleeding in his brain and was unlikely to last the night.
Transferred to the Southern General that night, he lay in a bed, his face unrecognisable and full of staples where the pitchfork had slammed through his mouth and nose.
He had a fractured skull, a fractured jaw and a bolt through his head to bring down the swelling on his brain.
The retired labourer was taken back to the Western Infirmary after a week, where he stayed in intensive care for three months, in a deep coma.
Retail assistant Kathleen said: ”I sat there crying every day, begging him to wake up.
“But he never opened his eyes. The only movement was when he kept lifting his arm, it had puncture wounds in it like he’d used it to fight off the pitchfork.
”I think he was having flashbacks and trying to protect himself again.”
When he opened his eyes finally, Hugh’s loved ones dared to hope he was back with them.
But he only regained the movement in his right arm and leg and did not speak again.
Hugh was transferred to Murdostoun Castle, a brain injury specialist home in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, last November.
Grandsons Declan, 12, and Robbie, eight, play Hugh his favourite Fleetwood Mac songs and believe they can sometimes see a flash of emotion in his eyes.
Hugh’s attacker pleaded not guilty to assault to severe injury, causing permanent impairment and attempted murder at the High Court in Dumbarton.
A jury acquitted the defendant by majority on the grounds of insanity and the court made a temporary order for him to be sent to a hospital for mental health treatment.
Pollock will appear again, for a permanent order to be decided, on May 20.