Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Liam Howard jailed for meat cleaver attack on Matthew Fyfe in Edinburgh

A man who threatened to behead a stranger with a meat cleaver in Edinburgh has been jailed for five years and three months.

Liam Howard, 24, told his victim Matthew Fyfe: "Sit down or I will take your head off."

He then hit Mr Fyfe across the face, leaving him scarred for life.

Howard admitted assaulting Mr Fyfe with the cleaver to his permanent disfigurement in the attack at a flat in Beaverbank Place in May last year.

He carried out the attack just five months after being released early from jail for attempted murder.

Risk of re-offending

Sentencing Howard, judge Lord Bannatyne told him: "This wholly unprovoked assault involved the use of a weapon, a meat cleaver, which you had taken from your mother's house to this flat.

"This must have been a terrifying ordeal for the complainer. You have a significant level of previous offending for crimes of violence and you had only been released from prison for a short time before committing this offence. You are at high risk of re-offending."

Lord Bannatyne ordered Howard to be monitored in the community for four years and nine months after his release from prison.

He also said Howard must serve the remaining 33 months of his previous sentence for attempted murder before beginning his latest sentence.

The court heard that Mr Fyfe had been at a friend's flat in the Broughton area of Edinburgh on 3 May when Howard and a woman suddenly showed up.

Advocate depute Sheena Fraser, prosecuting, said Mr Fyfe has been left with a 10cm (4in) facial scar and was suffering from depression.

Defence counsel Ronnie Renucci said: "He accepts responsibility for his actions. He had taken a significant amount of valium, but realises that is no excuse."

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