Glasgow & West Scotland

Knifeman who stabbed innocent woman in Coatbridge home is jailed

Billy Smith Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Billy Smith repeatedly stabbed a 69-year-old woman in her home

A man who repeatedly stabbed an innocent woman because he believed she associated with a "paedophile" has been jailed for eight years.

Margaret Agnew, 69, needed life-saving surgery after the attack at her home in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, last October.

A court heard Billy Smith, 24, targeted the house because of her links with a man he believed was a paedophile.

The judge told Smith he had attacked a woman who had done nothing to him.

Jailing him at the High Court in Glasgow, he said: "This woman required an operation to save her life. Whatever your motivation, you are not entitled to take the law into your own hands.

"The law of the jungle does not apply in these courts. This lady had done nothing to you."

Smith, who is currently serving a 27-month sentence for another crime, pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

'I am going to kill you both'

Prosecutors said it appeared to be a "revenge attack" against an individual known to Mrs Agnew.

Smith had stormed into the house, saying "I am going to kill you both", and attacked her with a "knife or screwdriver-type implement".

Mrs Agnew was initially struck on the shoulder and slumped to the ground before being hit again on the body.

She suffered six wounds and needed 40 stitches.

Smith fled before police arrived but Mrs Agnew was able to identify her attacker.

His defence counsel said he had "expressed his remorse for the lady who was seriously injured".

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