Glasgow & West Scotland

Claire Connelly, 19, jailed for stabbing brother Ronnie

A 19-year-old woman who admitted stabbing her younger brother at her home in Renfrewshire has been detained for two and a half years.

Claire Connelly, 19, attacked 16-year-old Ronnie Connelly at the house in Esk Drive, Paisley, on 31 December 2011.

The High Court in Glasgow heard how the attack followed a row after Mr Connelly tried to stop his sister from seeing their mother.

He needed open heart surgery after the sac around his heart was punctured.

At a previous hearing, Connelly admitted stabbing Mr Connelly to his severe injury and to the danger of his life.

Drunken row

The court heard how Connelly, her partner Stephen Devlin and her brother were planning to see the New Year in together.

At about 22:00, a very drunk Connelly said she wanted to visit her mother, with whom she had a troubled relationship.

An argument erupted during which her brother and her partner attempted to calm her down.

The court was told that about 22:50, Connelly and her brother were in the kitchen and began fighting.

Mr Devlin, who had been in the living room, came in and separated them and noticed that Mr Connelly had blood on his shirt and an injury to his chest.

The emergency services were called and as they waited for an ambulance to arrive Connelly phoned the police on her mobile and said: "Hello, I've just stabbed my wee brother in the heart."

Her brother was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley where it was discovered that the sac round his heart had been punctured and was filling with blood.

'Unstable upbringing'

When interviewed by police Connelly was crying and said she hoped Ronnie would be okay. He has since made a full recovery.

Jailing her at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Pentland said: "This was undoubtedly a very serious offence involving the use of a weapon - a knife - to the danger of your brother's life.

"It was aggravated by the fact you were drunk at the time."

The judge told Connelly: "I accept you have had an unstable upbringing and as a result you have had to contend with serious difficulties for much of your life."

Lord Pentland said he also acknowledged that Connelly had played a role in bringing up her brother.

He ordered that she should be kept under supervision for a further year following her detention.

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