Glasgow & West Scotland

Stephen Savage jailed for stabbing William Punshon outside school

A man who admitted carrying out a brutal knife attack outside a Glasgow primary school has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Stephen Savage, 38, repeatedly stabbed William Punshon to the danger of his life on 20 January after an incident involving their families.

The 38-year-old victim suffered 13 stab wounds during the attack.

He later received an apology from police who ignored warnings that Savage had threatened to carry out an attack.

During an earlier hearing, the High Court in Glasgow heard how Savage verbally abused Mr Punshon's wife following an incident between their families at the school, in the city's east end.

Threat alert

He also threatened to come back later that day and stab her husband.

Following the incident, police were notified about the possibility that an attack may happen.

Later that day, Mr and Mrs Punshon came to collect their son.

The couple were in their car when Savage, who had raced towards them in another vehicle, got inside and began attacking Mr Punshon.

The victim believed at that point he had only been punched, but it was later established that he had been stabbed.

A wounded Mr Punshon managed to get out of his vehicle and saw Savage was armed with a knife.

He then struggled with Savage, who continued to attack him with the knife.

School staff and nearby residents watched while Savage continued the attack as Mr Punshon ran back to his car.

Savage then fled before a first aid officer from the school came out to help Mr Punshon.

The victim was taken to hospital suffering from multiple stab wounds, including to his chest and neck.

One consultant said the injuries were "critical and life-threatening" and that Mr Punshon may have died had he not been treated.

'Red mist'

Savage could initially not be traced following the attack but handed himself into police on 6 February.

Prior to sentencing at the High Court in Edinburgh, Savage's defence advocate Allan Macleod told the court: "The red mist came down."

The lawyer told how Savage, lacking a father-figure in his own life, had become an over-protective parent.

He thought his son was being bullied and the school were not doing enough about it.

"When he attended school that morning he observed his child being shouted at," said Mr Macleod.

"His reaction to that was to confront the mother of the child he believed to be responsible for the bullying.

"His polite request to the mother, he felt, was not being taken seriously."

Savage brooded all day and became more and more worked up, the lawyer continued.

When he went back to the school he took a knife because he was afraid of Mr Punshon but had not intended to kill or injure anyone.

"When he saw Mr Punshon that afternoon he saw red. He described the red mist descending," said Mr Macleod.

He added: "He realises now that this behaviour was disgraceful. It was a very immature and inappropriate reaction to a matter which should have been solved by discussion."

Police apology

Jailing Savage, judge Lord Bracadale told him: "Your conduct at the school gates was bad enough.

"What you did in the afternoon is of a completely different order."

Following the incident, Strathclyde Police apologised to Mr Punshon for failing to act on information that he would be attacked.

Supt Eddie Smith said at the time: "It is our job to keep people safe and this involves trying to stop crimes before they happen. Despite our efforts, in this instance we did not do that.

"We have met the family and have apologised."

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