South Scotland

Stranraer man jailed over Annan birthday party attempted murder

Steven Kelly Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Steven Kelly was jailed for nearly nine years at the High Court in Glasgow

A man who tried to kill another guest during a birthday party has been jailed for nearly nine years.

Steven Kelly, 45, of Stranraer, stabbed James Johnstone 10 times in the attack at a flat in Annan last October.

A judge heard how his victim required life-saving surgery for his injuries.

Kelly has now been jailed for eight years and 10 months after he pled guilty to attempted murder at the High Court in Glasgow.

The men had been at the flat to celebrate a female friend's birthday.

'Slit your throat'

Prosecutor Chris McKenna told how a row broke out between the pair before Kelly repeatedly stabbed Mr Johnstone.

He added: "Mr Johnstone fell to the floor and got into a rolled-up position to protect himself."

As a woman then rushed to the victim's aid, Kelly yelled: "You gave my girlfriend a black eye and called me an idiot."

He then went on to punch a badly wounded Mr Johnstone.

Kelly added: "You are lucky I have not slit your throat."

Police were alerted and found Kelly hiding under a duvet.

'Lost the plot'

He then tried to headbutt a female officer, which he also pled guilty to in court.

The hearing was told Mr Johnstone suffered a collapsed lung, a fractured nose and facial bruising. He was only able to leave hospital after 11 days.

Kelly's lawyer, Brian Gilfedder, told the court: "His position is that James Johnstone had assaulted his girlfriend, who was disabled. She had difficulty walking.

"It is against that background, he acted the way he did.

"He said he totally overreacted and lost the plot."

Lord Mulholland sentenced him to eight years and four months for the murder bid with a further six months for police assault.

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