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Eight years for ‘frenzied’ knife attack

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A 27-YEAR-OLD man who stabbed and throttled a teenager and assaulted two others during a 15-minute frenzy of violence was jailed for eight years by the Royal Court on Monday.

Darren McKeegans. Picture: States of Jersey Police

Darren McKeegans, originally of Lanarkshire, Scotland, was first charged with attempted murder, which he denied, but changed his pleas to guilty on three charges of grave and criminal assault on 23 April.

The court heard that in the early hours of 1 October last year, McKeegans and the three victims – two teenage men and one woman – were having a party at the flat the defendant shared with his girlfriend at Leslie Sinel Court.

Solicitor General Mark Temple told the court McKeegans had been drinking heavily and the ensuing attacks were unprovoked.

He said McKeegans took immediate exception to the other men. He told a woman at the party: ‘I don’t like those two, I am getting bad vibes from them’.

He then began telling stories of fights he had been involved in back in Scotland before launching himself at his first victim, grabbing him by the throat and saying: ‘You’re as dodgy as they come’.

He began punching the teenager and threatened to kill him several times.

The second man was attacked after trying to intervene. He fled into the street and McKeegans pursued him but then returned to the flat, the court was told.

He resumed his attack on the first man, tackling him to the floor and stabbing him with sufficient ferocity that the blade of the knife broke from its handle. McKeegans continued the attack with a second knife, causing long-term nerve damage to the first victim.

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He continued to threaten the teenager, saying he would slit his throat.

At this point, the female victim, who the court was told was McKeegans’ girlfriend, tried to pull the defendant off the victim and was accidentally slashed.

When police arrived at around 6.30 am they heard ‘blood-curdling female screams’, the court heard. They entered the flat and subdued McKeegans, finding the victims covered in blood.

The court heard that the first man was taken to hospital with multiple stab wounds to his chin, scalp, earlobe, right arm and back of the hand as well as black eyes and extensive bruising.

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He required surgery to his arm and has since suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Mr Temple said the wounds may have been worse if the man had not defended himself.

In sentencing, Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq described the attack on the first victim as an ‘unprovoked, sustained, alcohol-fuelled frenzy with a knife on a guest in your home’.

He added that the victim’s injuries were so serious they could have been much worse and he ‘could have been killed’.

McKeegans was sentenced to eight years in prison for the first attack, and 18 months each for the other two, to run concurrently.

The Deputy Bailiff was sitting with Jurats Collette Crill, Geoffrey Grime, Robert Christensen, Elizabeth Dulake and Robert Kerley.

Tania Targett

By Tania Targett
Journalist

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