MURDERER Nicholas Rought blamed Jonty Hall for a terrifying kidnapping in which he was attacked by gangsters, the Echo can reveal today.
Rought had, over the years, built up a reputation in Shiney Row as a hardman with a violent background.
Known as someone who could “handle himself”, Rought had experienced numerous run-ins with police, dating back 20 years.
But it was his feud with Jonty that would eventually turn him into a murderer.
Rought had known Jonty since they were both boys, but it was a kidnapping in 1993 that saw the start of a bitter feud that would last longer than two decades.
After being kidnapped by gangsters, Rought was driven to Scotland and tortured for three days over some missing money.
He blamed Jonty for what happened to him and the violent effect it had on his father, Dawson, who was in prison.
Rought said: “I was taken away by knifepoint from a street.
“We arrived in Glasgow and I was taken to a public house, a back room.
“They (the kidnappers) were drinking their own sick from a pint glass.
“A fourth man came into the pub and I was led away by shotgun to a three-storey building. I was taken up to the attic.
“I was asked a series of questions about some money that went missing in Shiney Row and I couldn’t give the answers because I didn’t know.
“They went on the phone to the Wheatsheaf and said they spoke to someone they knew, John Hall, and John Hall had told them I was responsible for the money going missing. I was slapped, I was punched.”
Rought described enduring horrific torture during the three days he was held captive – and then the gangsters got his father involved.
The court heard at the time Rought snr was serving time in a prison in Scotland where he got his throat cut.
Rought denied this from the witness box, claiming his father had never been the victim of any such attack.
However, hospital records reveal Rought snr had in fact been admitted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in February 1994 with wounds to his neck and arms.
Rought said he had put an end to the feud with Jonty around two years before the murder last year.
He said he had acted as a sort of “protector” of him in the weeks before his death.
During his evidence, Rought gave an insight into his background and said he had been a victim of serious violence another two separate times.
He said he was hospitalised after an attack by three masked men in Peterlee in 2003 when they burst into a house where he was with his girlfriend.
Rought said he was also the victim of violence during a Sunderland v Newcastle derby game in 2009 when he was the victim of an attack in a pub in Washington.
Rought had previously been jailed for slashing a man’s throat during a street attack.
He said he had been in Newcastle with his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time, when they were attacked.
He told the court during the trial: “I lashed out with a bottle and I cut his throat.
“I was under the influence of drink and was protecting my girlfriend, who had a baby inside her.”