Court told knifeman tried to kill friend then said he did not mean it — (STV)

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STV News west-central

The High Court in Glasgow has heard that a man tried to kill his friend for allegedly sleeping with his teenage sister – then told him he did not mean it.

Gary McGuinness, 27, stabbed Joseph Clinton in the throat after confronting him at his home in Cumbernauld in North Lanarkshire in April this year.

Mr Clinton was left with life threatening injuries as a result of the brutal attack and is currently awaiting counselling. McGuinness admitted the attempted murder charge.

The court was told that McGuinness and Mr Clinton had been friends for three years prior to the assault. Mr Clinton was dating McGuinness’s 18-year-old step-sister Lauren Stewart, which the accused appeared happy with.

In the early hours of April 24, the couple were in bed at Mr Clinton’s home in Cumbernauld’s Elm Drive when a drunken McGuinness appeared at the front door. Later, in the kitchen, he told Mr Clinton: “Don’t ever cross me – you know what will happen. I am going to finish this just now.”

He then said to his friend: “Sorry Joe, I have to do this.”

While Miss Stewart tried to intervene, McGuinness leaned over and knifed Mr Clinton in the throat. As his victim bled, McGuinness told him: “Sorry Joe, I did not mean it.”

McGuinness fled before Mr Clinton was rushed to hospital. He suffered an injury to his neck and was kept in for treatment for more than two weeks.

McGuinness – who has a previous high court conviction for assault – handed himself into police days after the stabbing but made no comment when interviewed.

The court was told Mr Clinton is “struggling to cope” following the attack. He suffers throat pain when he eats, is on anti-depressants and is on a waiting list for counselling.

Judge Lady Stacey adjourned the case until September 21 at the High Court in Edinburgh. McGuinness was remanded in custody.