Glasgow & West Scotland

Man jailed for Greenock attack on love rival

Kevin Best Image copyright Spindrift =
Image caption The court heard that Kevin Best repeatedly lashed out with the broken glass

A man who stabbed a love rival has been jailed for nine years for attempted murder.

Kevin Best, 30, attacked Michael Coyle and told him: "You are not in the ground yet - but you will be."

The High Court in Glasgow heard that Mr Coyle had been in an on-off relationship with 19-year-old Demi Freeman when she started seeing Best.

Best attacked the 24-year-old with a piece of broken glass after finding him at Ms Freeman's flat.

The court was told that Mr Coyle was left "drenched in blood" after Best, a father-of-two, repeatedly lashed out.

'Unprovoked and horrific'

Best was convicted of attempted murder after a trial, but had claimed he was defending himself during the incident at the flat in Lawrence Street, Greenock on 30 May last year.

Judge Michael O'Grady QC told him: "From the evidence and the verdict, this was an unprovoked and horrific attack.

"If you did not intend to kill your victim, you were at least utterly indifferent to the consequences."

The judge ordered Best to be monitored in the community for three years after his release from prison.

Defence counsel Janice Green said: "The danger to life was potential rather than actual. The accused went to the flat unarmed and there was no plan. This was a crime of passion, if you like, caused by his feelings for Miss Freeman."

Jurors heard how the victim's relationship with Ms Freeman ended in late 2017 and she began dating Best. However, Mr Coyle and Ms Freeman got back together in 2018.

Mr Coyle said he was at the teenager's flat when she came home with Best.

The victim told prosecutor Chris McKenna what happened next was "a blur".

Blood 'spurting out'

Mr Coyle said: "He was telling me to leave the house. He said that he wanted to stay there.

"I said: 'I'm not leaving'."

During the attack, Mr Coyle initially thought he was being punched.

"He got me on the neck and that was when the blood was spurting out," he said.

The victim said he believed he had been struck with "broken glass".

During the attack, Best yelled at Mr Coyle: "This is not over. You are not in the ground yet, but you will be."

Jurors were shown graphic photos of the victim's numerous injuries including a large gash to his head.

Best had claimed Mr Coyle struck him with a baseball bat first.

He told the court he and Ms Freeman had had a "lovely day" in a pub before heading to her house so she could get changed before they went to a barbecue.

The court heard that Best had previous convictions for violence.

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