A THUG who was "self medicating" on drink and drugs when he stabbed his uncle 26 times during a frenzied murder bid in Barrhead has been jailed.

Martin Joyce, 36, suddenly turned on Andrew Gray at the victim’s home in Sunnyside Place on May 31 last year.

Jailing him for six years at the High Court in Edinburgh today, judge Lord Scott told Joyce: "You inflicted a total of 26 stab wounds to his head, neck, back and arms.

"You could easily have killed him."

An earlier court hearing was told there had been a “verbal altercation” between Joyce and 49-year-old Mr Gray after they had been watching television.

Joyce returned from the kitchen with a knife and initially struck his uncle on the neck.

He then went after Mr Gray as he tried to escape via the front door and continued the assault.

The badly-injured victim staggered onto the street and flagged down a passing car for help.

Joyce also fled but then dialled 999, stating he was in the grounds of nearby St Conval’s Cemetery.

Police did not find him there and, instead, he was traced at his mother’s house in Glasgow.

The court heard Mr Gray needed urgent hospital treatment, including a blood transfusion, and suffered a punctured lung.

He was only able to be discharged more than a week later.

Joyce admitted a charge of attempted murder by striking his victim on the head and body repeatedly with a knife to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of life.

Before sentence was passed, defence solicitor advocate Paul Mullen asked the court to take into account that Joyce had "a very limited record" of previous offending.

However, Lord Scott said he had read a victim impact statement prepared by Mr Gray and noted the "serious and lasting consequences" of the murder bid.

He told Joyce he had committed "a wholly unprovoked attack" on his relative.

The court heard that Joyce, a prisoner at Low Moss jail, intended to write to his victim to express his remorse.

Lord Scott said a report prepared on Joyce had outlined problems he had with bereavements, loss of employment, anxiety and depression.

The judge added that he noted his answer to his problems, at least in part, appeared to be to self-medicate with alcohol and Valium.

He told Joyce he would have faced a nine-year prison sentence for the murder bid if he had been convicted of the offence following a trial but this was being reduced due to his early admission of guilt.