Drunken thug given three years in prison for bru­tal knife at­tack

The Oban Times - - News - EMMA CRICH­TON ecrich­ton@oban­times.co.uk

A SEVEN inch blade was used to slice a man’s arm in a ‘drunken’, ‘un­pro­voked’ and ‘ vi­o­lent’ at­tack in Oban this sum­mer.

Wil­liam Dou­glas was sen­tenced to more than three years in prison for the as­sault on Breadal­bane Street, which oc­curred in the early hours of June 19.

The 33-year- old man from Bal­loch has been in Low Moss prison since June 29, fol­low­ing another se­vere as­sault just days af­ter the at­tack in Oban.

The in­jury he in­flicted was so se­vere it caused mus­cle dam­age, along with soft tis­sue tear­ing, un­der the 10 cen­time­tre wound.

On Tues­day, Oban sher­iff court heard that Dou­glas had been stay­ing in the Rowan Tree ho­tel with his part­ner, where they be­gan ar­gu­ing be­fore he left the room at 1.50am on the Fri­day.

It was af­ter this that he met his vic­tim out­side Oban Back­pack­ers. The vic­tim was a 30-year- old ge­ol­o­gist, who grew up in Mid Ar­gyll, but has been liv­ing in Aus­tralia for the last four years.

He was back in Oban for his friend’s stag party, procu­ra­tor fis­cal Eoin McGinty told the court. Dou­glas tried to fight with the vic­tim, whom he had never met. When friends in­ter­vened, he pulled out the knife and cut the man’s left arm.

Mr McGinty said: ‘The knife had gone through skin, soft tis­sue and un­der­ly­ing mus­cle.’

‘The in­jured man was kept in hos­pi­tal overnight be­cause it was thought the ten­dons in his arm had been sev­ered, which would re­quire surgery. How­ever, on fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion, it was de­cided there was no per­ma­nent dam­age other than scar­ring.’

The knife, around seven inches in length, was shown in court and de­scribed as ‘a weapon, not a do­mes­tic knife,’ by Sher­iff Ruth An­der­son, QC.

De­fend­ing so­lic­i­tor Gail Camp­bell said Dou­glas re­mem­bered lit­tle about the night and he ex­pressed ‘sin­cer­est apolo­gies’. She added the knife had been in his car boot from an ear­lier fish­ing trip.

As she was pass­ing sen­tence, Sher­iff An­der­son said the se­ri­ous­ness of the at­tack, com­bined with Dou­glas’ two pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for as­saults caus­ing se­vere in­juries, led her to con­sider re­fer­ring him to the High Court, but de­cided on 40 months for as­sault and eight months for pos­ses­sion of a weapon, to be served con­cur­rently.

She added: ‘This was an un­pro­voked at­tack with a weapon, on a com­plete stranger, in a street in Oban. You have a bad record. This is your third con­vic­tion for as­sault to se­vere in­jury. This is what can only be de­scribed as ran­dom, drunken and vi­o­lent be­hav­iour.’

The sen­tence will be added to the 23 months Dou­glas faces for the sub­se­quent as­sault.

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