Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee man jailed for attempting to murder a man he thought had abused him

A Dundee man has been jailed for 10 years for attempting to murder a shop worker he believed sexually abused him.

Brian Coventry, 36, stabbed Steven Russell, 42, because he thought the B&Q employee had molested him as a child.

Coventry's legal team had claimed their client was suffering from diminished responsibility at the time of the attack, but a jury rejected that and convicted him of attempted murder.

Jailing him, Judge Lord Glennie said the attack was premeditated.

A court earlier heard that there was no evidence to prove Mr Russell had assaulted him.

But the 36-year-old still repeatedly plunged a blade into the shop worker.

Premeditated attack

The attack came as Mr Russell completed his shift at the B&Q store in Dundee's Milton of Craigie Road North on 6 January 2012.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Glennie told Coventry he believed the attack was premeditated, and had been carried out in a public place "to the obvious distress of members of the public".

The judge said: "Whatever your private motivation for the offence, that provides no excuse for it."

Defence solicitor advocate Chris Fyffe asked the judge to take into account that the murder bid was "out of character" for Coventry.

Lord Glennie said he was satisfied that the 36-year-old continued to pose a high risk of re-offending.

He added that he took into account the attacker's "weakened mental state at the time of the offence" and that he had accepted responsibility.

Hidden evidence

During the trial at the High Court in Glasgow, it emerged that Coventry had hidden the knife, that was used in the attack, in the garden of a house in Strips of Craigie Road, Dundee.

He also tried to destroy evidence by soaking his clothes in a bath at his home in the city's Craighill Court.

The court heard that medics battled to save Mr Russell's life; he later lost the sight in his eye and suffered mental anguish.

The assault came one week after he shouted threats and insults at Mr Russell at the shop on 30 December 2011. On that occasion, Coventry shouted: "I'm going to come back and stab you."

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