Glasgow & West Scotland

Man who stabbed scarecrow partygoer in Glasgow is jailed

union street, glasgow Image copyright Google
Image caption Graham McKinlay stabbed his victim on Glasgow's Union Street

A man who attempted to murder a partygoer dressed as a scarecrow in an unprovoked knife attack has been jailed for life.

Graham McKinlay repeatedly stabbed Thomas Brennan, 28, in Union Street, Glasgow, in June last year.

The 32-year-old also slashed two other men in separate attacks in Glasgow in December 2014.

McKinlay was given a lifelong restriction order and must serve five years before he can apply for parole.

Unemployed McKinlay, of no fixed abode, had earlier admitted attempting to murder Mr Brennan by repeatedly striking him with a knife to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life.

He had also pled guilty to two further knife attacks committed within a day of each other which left victims wounded.

'Suffered nightmares'

Sentencing him at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Boyd of Duncansby said McKinlay's criminal record included many offences of violence.

He described the assault on Mr Brennan as an "an unprovoked attack" on a young man, out with his fiancée enjoying a good time, who was now reliant on pain killers and suffered nightmares.

Lord Boyd said: "The best word to describe what you did to him is your own - that is 'despicable'."

The murder bid victim was wearing a potato sack over his head with eye holes cut in it and a rope around his neck as part of a scarecrow costume.

As McKinlay approached, he grabbed the rope and pulled on it which shifted the sack so that Mr Brennan could not see.

McKinlay then punched him on the head but the victim managed to break free and ran into the road and pulled off the sack.

McKinlay pursued him and punched him again before putting him a headlock and began stabbing him.

Others became involved in the disturbance and witnesses called the emergency services.

Racial assault

One of McKinlay's earlier knife attacks was racially aggravated. He assaulted Safdar Ali, then 29, at St Enoch's Square, in Glasgow, in December 2014.

The victim sustained a mouth wound which needed eight stitches.

The following day McKinlay attacked a bus passenger in the city's Dumbarton Road.

He struck Richard McCluskey, then 32, with a craft knife, which left him bleeding from his ear and left side of his face.

Defence counsel Niall McCluskey told the court that McKinlay did feel remorse for his crimes.

He said: "He appreciates his actions have been to the significant detriment of others."

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