Feb 13 2009 by Stephen Robertson, Stirling Observer Friday
A MAN who carried out a brutal stabbing in Stirling city centre was jailed for two years this week.
James Clark (57) launched the unprovoked attack on the other man as he stood chatting to a friend in the city’s Barnton Street on April 27 last year.
Stirling Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday how the victim suffered three stab wounds to his upper body in the attack, one of which led to significant blood loss.
Explaining how the incident developed, Keri Marshall, fiscal depute, told the court: “The complainer had been in various pubs drinking and watching football. At 9pm he decided to make his way home.”
After setting off home, the man met a friend in Barnton Street and it was as they stood talking that Clark, who was known to the men, appeared on the scene.
Ms Marshall continued: “The accused started shouting for no apparent reason and threatened [the victim] with a knife. He made his way over to the complainer and lunged at him.
“Initially the complainer thought that he had been punched in the chest three or four times and he punched the accused who fell to the ground.”
The victim soon realised, however, that he had actually been stabbed.
Two other witnesses, known to the complainer, who were passing at the time noticed that he appeared to be upset and asked what was wrong and he told them that Clark had stabbed him.
The fiscal depute said that one of these witnesses managed to calm Clark down and took the black-handled kitchen knife from him. This was put in a bin nearby but was later recovered by police. After struggling to a nearby pub, the complainer saw for himself the extent of his injuries. He then started to feel light-headed and passed out.
An ambulance was called and he was taken to Stirling Royal Infirmary for treatment.
He was found to have three wounds to his chest. Two of these were deemed superficial but the third was deeper resulting in bleeding into his chest cavity.
He was in the high dependency unit at the hospital for two to three days and spent a similar time on a regular ward before being discharged.
Clark himself was traced by police close to the scene of the stabbing shortly after the incident.
Ms Marshall said: “He was asked if he had earlier had possession of a knife and he said that he had thrown it on the roof of a building. This was thought to be unlikely as the building was four storeys high.”
Clark also spun stories to police that he had taken the knife from the complainer and that he had also found it in a case in another Stirling pub.
Clark, who himself had an injury to his thigh following the incident, also told officers that he must’ve fallen on the knife and that “the boy must’ve fallen on it too”.
Clark, of 30 De Moray Court, Cornton, later admitted stabbing the complainer to his severe injury.
In court on Wednesday, Clark’s lawyer Ken Dalling said that alcohol was a “significant factor” in the attack.
Mr Dalling added: “He is not at all proud of his behaviour and accepts that the probable outcome will be a period of custody.”
Jailing Clark for two years, Sheriff Desmond McCaffrey told him: “This was an unprovoked attack with a weapon. It can only be dealt with by way of a custodial disposal.”