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Inverness teenager who stabbed friend eight times is sentenced

By Ali Morrison

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A 17-year-old father was sentenced to 27 months detention as the High Court returned to Inverness for the first time in many years.

The teenager, who cannot be named due to being under the age of 18, stabbed his friend of a similar age eight times and lacerated his liver. Lord Mulholland told the youngster he was fortunate not to be facing a charge of murder.

The judge turned down a media application to identify the 17-year-old after both advocate depute Chris Fyffe and defence counsel Niall McCluskey opposed the motion.

He cited a suicide attempt, the youth's difficult upbringing, potential for victimisation with publicity and the circumstances of the case where there was provocation as reasons for refusal.

At a hearing in the High Court in Glasgow last month, Lord Mulholland was told the teenager turned on his victim – also aged 17 – stating: "If you die, it is your fault."

Paramedics found the injured boy with the attacker still nearby covered in blood at the house in Inverness.

The assailant pleaded guilty to assaulting his friend to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life.

He had initially faced a charge of attempted murder.

Backdating the sentence to August 19 when Lord Mulholland remanded him in custody, the judge told him: "You armed yourself with a large kitchen knife and stabbed your friend eight times, twice on the body and lacerating his liver – an organ essential for life. His life was in danger and you are fortunate you are not facing a charge of murder.

"The report states that you feel well liked when you offend. The hospitals and morgue are full of people who tried to live up to their hard man reputation."

Lord Mulholland accepted there was provocation in this case and advised the teenager to avail himself of the rehabilitation opportunities while on detention. He also told him to stay away from intoxicants on his release.

"You need to learn your lesson to turn your life around. It is not too late but it is your responsibility and yours alone."

The court had previously been told the pair had been at a house on June 9, 2020 with others including a mutual female friend.

The young woman at the house later told police the boys had been fighting before the attacker stabbed his friend with a kitchen knife.

He told his victim: "This is what you get for speaking to me like that. If you die, it is your fault."

The injured boy ended up being treated in a high dependency unit spending a number of nights in hospital.

Defence solicitor Niall McCluskey said last month his client, who was only 16 at the time, "saw red" amid claims his friend assaulted him first.

The advocate said at sentencing of his client: "He sustained injuries, there was provocation and he was under the influence of drink and drugs, as was the complainer.

"But there is hope for the future. There are concerns about his immaturity but he has expressed remorse and regret."

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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