Man Sentenced to Five Years for Knife Attacks in Inverness

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A man who assaulted two teenagers on a canal footpath while out on bail has been sentenced to five years in prison.

The 35-year-old male perpetrator attacked the teens with a knife as they walked along the Caledonian Canal in Inverness in August of last year. The victims, previously unknown to the attacker, sustained significant injuries in the unprovoked assault.

The defendant, who had confessed to the crime, received his sentence at the High Court in Aberdeen. The judge referred to him as a “threat” to public safety. In addition to his prison term, the man will be under supervision for three years following his release.

The man admitted to stabbing a 16-year-old boy, causing severe injury, permanent disfigurement, and life-threatening harm near the Seaport Marina in Inverness. He also pled guilty to assaulting a 15-year-old girl by striking her with the knife and causing injury.

These offences took place three months after he had been granted bail from Inverness Sheriff Court. He also confessed to an earlier incident in May of the previous year, where he behaved menacingly on Glenurquhart Road in Inverness. During this incident, he followed two men walking their dogs, brandishing a knife and threatening to stab them.

The attack on the teenagers occurred as the boy cycled and the girl walked alongside him on the footpath. They noticed the man before he attacked. The boy suffered a knife wound, leading to significant bleeding and necessitating a chest drain at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness due to a collapsed lung. He has been left with a permanent scar. The girl was struck on the back, but her injuries were less severe.

Police arrested the man shortly after the attacks, finding him with a bottle of alcohol and a knife. Despite previous convictions, including an assault charge, he had never been sentenced to prison before this incident.

Expressions of Remorse

During the trial, the defence counsel informed the court that the man had been diagnosed with autism three years ago and had been grappling with mental health issues. He had also turned to drugs and alcohol.

The counsel explained that the man remembers little of the events but fully accepts responsibility for his actions. He is deeply remorseful and distressed by his behaviour.

The defence added that the offender wished to extend his sincere apologies to the victims, expressing genuine regret for his actions.

The judge emphasised the gravity of the situation, noting that despite being on bail for a previous incident, the man’s conduct escalated to a stabbing attack. The judge remarked that the offender was fortunate not to be facing a murder charge, describing his actions as cowardly.

The judge imposed an extended sentence of eight years, including a custodial term of five years, backdated to August last year when the offender was taken into custody.

This incident highlights the dangers posed by individuals with a history of violent behaviour, particularly when influenced by substances and untreated mental health issues. The case underscores the need for comprehensive risk assessments in bail decisions to ensure public safety.

Looking forward, this case may lead to increased scrutiny of bail practices and the support systems available for individuals with complex mental health and addiction problems. The aim is to prevent such tragic incidents through more effective interventions and support for those at risk of committing violent offences.

This sentencing underscores the judicial system’s role in balancing rehabilitation and public safety, ensuring that individuals who pose a danger are appropriately monitored and, when necessary, incarcerated to protect the community.

Dawn Jackson
Dawn Jackson
Journalist Dawn is an experienced business journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering stories that impact local communities, Dawn brings a unique perspective to her work. Through her insightful reporting, she keeps readers informed about the latest developments in various regions, shedding light on the economic landscape and entrepreneurial endeavours. Dawn's dedication to delivering accurate and engaging business news makes her a valuable asset to the News Write Ups team.

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