Racist thug who slashed man dodges prison

Sher­iff shows mercy on knife brute

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page - Ron Moore

A thug who ad­mit­ted slash­ing a man in a racist knife at­tack has avoided a prison sen­tence.

Tanked-up De­clan Scott, 19, branded vic­tim David Lange a “P***,” while re­peat­edly slic­ing at him with a lock-back knife in front of wit­nesses at a flat in the town’s McKer­rell Street.

He was handed his free­dom with su­per­vi­sion in­stead of cus­tody or even placed on a tag, de­spite hav­ing no idea why he knifed Mr Lange.

The burly teenager hood­winked his way into the prop­erty where he re­peat­edly swung the blade at his vic­tim, cut­ting Mr Lange on the face, head and arm, while spew­ing hate­ful slurs.

Scott, of Arkle­ston Road, Pais­ley, was at Pais­ley Sher­iff Court for sen­tenc­ing af­ter plead­ing guilty to a charge of as­sault­ing Mr Lange by re­peat­edly strik­ing him on the head and body with a knife to his in­jury, and that the of­fence was racially ag­gra­vated.

Fis­cal de­pute David McDon­ald said the vic­tim and his pals had been watch­ing a film in the flat when Scott conned his way in and launched the at­tack.

He said: “The knife had a three­inch blade with a black and white han­dle.

“Scott be­gan swing­ing the knife at the com­plainer, who was des­per­ately try­ing to avoid any con­tact.

“Dur­ing this, Scott said: ‘ My un­cle was stabbed by a black b******.’

“He went on to call the com­plainer a P***.”

The court heard Mr Lange suf­fered a 4cm lac­er­a­tion to his cheek, a 1.5cm gash to his head and an­other 1cm cut to his arm.

The vic­tim then fled to a neigh­bour’s ad­dress where they phoned the emer­gency ser­vices in the early hours of April 8, last year.

When po­lice ar­rived at the scene fol­low­ing re­ports of the dis­tur­bance, the ac­cused ap­proached of­fi­cers dis­play­ing a cut to his hand and he claimed the per­son re­spon­si­ble was called “Dave,” and was a “half caste.”

De­fence agent Jonathan Man­son said his client had no ex­cuse for the at­tack. How­ever de­tailed back­ground re­ports re­vealed he suf­fers from de­vel­op­men­tal dif­fi­cul­ties which have left him “with the men­tal ca­pac­ity of a six-year-old.”

Mr Man­son said: “I have had con­cerns about whether he fully ap­pre­ci­ates was is go­ing in here.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult to ex­plain to him what is in­volved and the rea­sons his ac­tions are wrong and the pos­si­ble con­se­quences.

“The de­tailed re­ports have been sym­pa­thetic to the ac­cused.

“How­ever, as­sault with a weapon, he had a knife and used it, would in­evitably lead to cus­tody.

“And there is noth­ing to say about mit­i­ga­tory fac­tors to the of­fence.

“He has the men­tal ca­pac­ity of a six-year-old.

“When he is sober he knows the dif­fer­ence be­tween right and wrong but does not have a plau­si­ble or sen­si­ble ex­pla­na­tion for why he did it.

“He finds it dif­fi­cult to con­trol his ac­tions when un­der the in­flu­ence of drink.”

The lawyer urged the court to spare Scott jail, as he would be “vul­ner­a­ble” in cus­tody and im­pose a com­mu­nity- based dis­posal.

Sher­iff David Pen­der said: “In 99 out of 100 cases, or as your lawyer said, in nor­mal cir­cum­stances, cus­tody would be the ap­pro­pri­ate op­tion in deal­ing with this case.

“How­ever, I ac­cept the very de­tailed in­for­ma­tion put for­ward and have de­cided it is prob­a­bly not in the pub­lic in­ter­est to im­pose a pe­riod of im­pris­on­ment.

“It is very clear you can­not use your men­tal health dif­fi­cul­ties for­ever and you have to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for your ac­tions.

“If you com­mit an of­fence of this type again, it is al­most in­evitable that you will go to prison.”

Scott was handed a Com­mu­nity Pay­back Or­der com­pris­ing two years of su­per­vi­sion by the so­cial work de­part­ment.

Thug De­clan Scott

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