Man stabbed friend on loch fish­ing hol­i­day

The Oban Times - - News - COURT RE­PORTER editor@oban­

A DRINK-fu­elled fish­ing trip to Loch Awe ended when a man stabbed his friend in the chest.

Robert Ed­wards, 52, pleaded not guilty at Oban Sher­iff court, when he ap­peared for trial on Septem­ber 1 and 2, to as­sault­ing Wil­liam McNally, 26, by stab­bing him on his body, to his in­jury and per­ma­nent dis­fig­ure­ment.

He lodged a spe­cial de­fence last week claim­ing he had acted in self- de­fence when Wil­liam McNally and his fa­ther, Sa­muel McNally, 45, tried to at­tack him.

The jury heard Ed­wards had been in­vited on a fish­ing trip with the fa­ther and son on April 17.

Af­ter two days of drink­ing, the men went to a van they had hired to shel­ter when their fire wouldn’t light, in the early hours of Sun­day, April 19.

They had been drink­ing beer and vodka over the two days, and in the van they con­tin­ued drink­ing and were smok­ing cannabis.

Sa­muel and Wil­liam McNally gave sim­i­lar ac­counts of how Ed­wards, of He­riot Av­enue, Pais­ley, be­gan act­ing strangely, claim­ing he was re­lated to the royal fam­ily. A row be­tween the three broke out when the McNallys, also from Pais­ley, re­mon­strated with Ed­wards about his treat­ment of Wil­liam McNally’s dog, say­ing he was pok­ing and an­tag­o­nis­ing it. Af­ter be­ing told that it would be his own fault if the dog snapped at him, Sa­muel McNally told the court Ed­wards replied that he would stab the dog.

As Wil­liam McNally went to the back of the van to let the dog out, Ed­wards threw a camp­ing chair at him then stabbed him in the chest with a knife he had been us­ing to peel veg­eta­bles the day be­fore, leav­ing a wound 2cm deep and 2cm long.

Wil­liam McNally said: ‘I tried to get the dog by the col­lar, and I just re­mem­ber be­ing stabbed. When I bent down to get the dog, he stabbed me.’

The knife had pierced a fleece, t-shirt and foam life jacket Wil­liam McNally had been wear­ing. Ed­wards claimed he had acted in self­de­fence af­ter the McNallys tried to at­tack him.

He said dur­ing the trial: ‘I thought I was go­ing to die. I was ter­ri­fied the dogs might be used to at­tack me. I got out and Wil­liam and Sa­muel were both com­ing to­wards me. They came to­wards me and my arm went up to Wil­liam’s chest. I never in­ten­tion­ally went to stab any­body. What­ever hap­pened, if it was my knife that did it, it was a com­plete ac­ci­dent.’

De­spite com­plain­ing of a ‘ vi­cious, ag­gres­sive at­tack’, it was noted that Ed­wards had not a sin­gle, vis­i­ble mark on him, and none were recorded by am­bu­lance staff or po­lice. The only men­tion of any in­juries was a pain to his side that he com­plained of, for which he was given parac­eta­mol.

Fis­cal Eoin McGinty said: ‘De­spite this al­leged vi­cious at­tack by two dogs and two peo­ple, the only per­son who was left with a vis­i­ble mark was Wil­liam McNally.’

The jury de­lib­er­ated for around an hour and a half, be­fore re­turn­ing the guilty ver­dict.

Sher­iff Ruth An­der­son agreed to con­tinue Ed­wards’ bail un­til Septem­ber 28, de­fer­ring sen­tence for back­ground re­ports.

‘Cus­tody must be in the up­per­most of my mind, given that there was use of a weapon,’ she added.

Pho­to­graph by Kevin McGylnn

KNIFE CRIME: Robert Ed­wards will be sen­tenced at the end of the month for the stab­bing

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