Scott McCaffrey was described by a witness as having a ‘smirk on his face, like in a horror movie’ as he assaulted his victim in Vauxhall Street with a combat knife. The victim’s ex-girlfriend was also injured during the drunken attack, the Royal Court was told.
Emergency services were called to the incident after a neighbour went outside and saw what was happening.
McCaffrey admitted two counts of grave and criminal assault, one count of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place and a further count of possession of a controlled drug.
Outlining the case Crown Advocate Richard Pedley, prosecuting, said McCaffrey (26) committed the grave and criminal assaults after promising to provide moral support to the victim’s ex-girlfriend. The court heard how she had been worried after agreeing to meet her former partner, so McCaffrey went along as well.
The two men got involved in an argument. McCaffrey was punched in the face, and his glasses knocked off. McCaffrey told the States police ‘he kept on punching me. I couldn’t see anything’. Then, he said, he was overcome by ‘a red mist’ and said that ‘all the feelings inside just came out’. He pulled out the black combat knife he had taken with him and ‘lashed out’ at his attacker, lunging at him between ten and 15 times trying to stab him, the court was told. The woman was injured in the attack as she attempted to break up the fight.
The police found the male victim slumped on the floor of the toilets of Minden Place multi-storey car park. He was taken to hospital and underwent surgery to repair a 1 to 1.5-inch stab wound between his ribs, which had also punctured one of his lungs.
When the police reviewed CCTV footage on Christmas Day, McCaffrey could clearly be seen holding a combat knife standing outside Mino’s restaurant on the corner of Bath Street and Minden Place, the court was told. Officers later recovered the weapon from a nearby drain.
Advocate Julian Gollop, defending, told the court that his client admitted what he did was ‘reckless, [and] dangerous’, and was ‘an action he deeply regrets’, and that it was totally out of character. McCaffrey ‘does not walk around carrying a knife’, Advocate Gollop added. ‘This was not a pre-planned attack. It was a spur-of-the-moment act.’
The lawyer argued that rather than the five years’ imprisonment the prosecution was suggesting, three to three-and-a-half years was more appropriate.
The Bailiff, Timothy Le Cocq, presiding, told McCaffrey that it was ‘extremely fortunate’ that the injuries he inflicted on his two victims ‘were not worse’.
Mr Le Cocq added that the court took a very dim view of people arming themselves with knives. But, he also noted that McCaffrey had been co-operative with the authorities and was of ‘previous good character’.
Jurats Charles Blampied, Jerry Ramsden, and Gareth Hughes were sitting.
Commenting on the case after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Christina MacLennan, head of the police’s Serious Crime Unit, added: ‘We hope that this sentencing sends a strong message that the carrying of a knife in public, or the criminal use of a knife, remains completely unacceptable and that those who do so will be arrested and dealt with by the full force of the law.’