A MAN viciously hacked at his ex pal with a meat cleaver during a row – and then wiped off the blood on his victim’s clothes.

Alexander O’ Rourke, 46, carried out the brutal and sustained attack at a house on Bellsmyre’s Whiteford Avenue on August 2 this year – after confronting the victim due to perceived “rumours” that had been spread about him.

The victim spotted O’Rourke hanging around a common close as he put bins out before he later appeared at his door.

The pair began arguing before O’Rourke chased the victim into a bedroom and cornered him, hitting his victim on the face and head during a horrific two minute onslaught.

He then sat on a bed and wiped the blood off on his victim’s shorts before issuing a chilling warning “not to involve police”.

However, after O’Rourke left the victim called police, who arrived to find blood on walls, the floor and furniture.

An officer later caught O’Rourke, who told arresting officers: “It’s me you’re looking for.”

O’ Rourke, whose address in court was given as prisoner of Greenock, appeared from custody on indictment at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Tuesday, September 5 when he admitted assaulting his victim by repeatedly striking him on the head and body with the weapon, to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

Fiscal Depute Claire Nicholl told the court officers searched O’Rourke’s home and found another meat cleaver.

During the search a washing machine was on but stopped halfway through its cycle and items were taken away to be examined and lodged for production.

Ms Nicholl said: “Forensic analysis from footwear was linked to the complainer.”

The injuries the victim sustained included a 5cm cut on his scalp, a 3cm cut on his nose, which required four stitches, a 1cm gash on his forearm and superficial injuries to his right forearm.

The accused was cautioned and charged and made no reply.

O’Rourke’s defence solicitor said his client had a “perceived grievance” about rumours that had circulated about him, and had intended to “confront” the complainer about it.

He said: “He did not enter armed with a weapon, although the weapon was his."

It was claimed that both men used O’Rourke’s cleaver to cut cannabis before the incident took place – but it was also claimed the accused left the weapon at his companion’s property.

O’ Rourke’s solicitor added: “They were friends who enjoyed each other’s company and they would take certain substances.”

He also told the court how the accused was due to meet a psychiatrist.

Sheriff William Gallacher said: “He has a terrible record, almost entirely of house breaking and dishonesty.

“And the Crown has taken a neutral position [about ownership of the cleaver] which is preposterous because he [O’Rourke] knew it [the weapon] was in the house, he took it and carried out a sustained assault.”

Turning to O’ Rourke Sheriff Gallacher added: “This was a very brutal and deliberate assault with a weapon.

“I will adjourn for the preparation of a social work report and you will remain in custody.”

Sentence was deferred until September 26 in order that a criminal justice social work report is prepared and for the defence team to provide a psychiatric report.