Highlands & Islands

Inverness man behind 110 offences jailed for assaults

A man who carried out two knife attacks within 10 minutes of each other after being freed early from prison has been given a lifelong restriction order.

Stephen Stewart, 20, had been responsible for 110 offences which started when he was 10 years old.

The latest assaults were made against two men in Inverness in March.

Judge Lord Tyre said Stewart should serve at least three years but it would be up to a parole board to decide if he could be released after that time.

Lord Tyre had deferred sentence for a background report after Stewart, from Inverness, who also calls himself by the surname Ross, had earlier admitted the offences.

He told Stewart: "I now have that report. It doesn't make happy reading.

"You have a past record of violence which began when you were aged 10 and that is truly shocking."

Stewart was detained for three years in 2009 for a bottle attack resulting in severe injury and permanent disfigurement. He was out on licence from that sentence when he committed the attacks in March.

The court heard that his mother had described him as being in a "foul mood" and under the influence of drink or drugs.

Nine stitches

He first attacked Andrew Sutherland by striking him on the face with a knife in Coronation Park.

Mr Sutherland went home and called the police and asked for an ambulance.

He was taken to Raigmore Hospital where he had nine stitches put in the wound.

Stewart next approached Allan MacMillan who was with his girlfriend and her cousin.

Stewart asked him where he was from and when Mr MacMillan replied "Dingwall" he was butted in the face and stabbed in the stomach.

Mr MacMillan and his two companions ran off before they realised he had been stabbed. He was also taken to hospital and kept in overnight for observation.

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