Former loyalist paramilitary jailed over knife attack
Beattie admitted stabbing the man after a row outside a bar
A former loyalist paramilitary who stabbed a man after a row outside a pub has been jailed for six years.
Paul Beattie, 40, of Dashwood Square, Newton Stewart, left his victim Gary Banka, 53, with knife wounds that penetrated his liver and stomach.
The former UVF member had previously admitted carrying out the attack in the Dumfries and Galloway town.
Judge Lord Kinclaven said he would have jailed Beattie for eight years if he had not pled guilty to the charge.
The High Court in Glasgow heard how Mr Banka had spent the day of the attack – 13 June this year – playing golf with friends.
Your drinking and treatment at the hands of the paramilitary organisation by some way explains your behaviour but does not excuse it
He had then gone to a pub where Beattie was also drinking.
Defence counsel Frances Connor said words had been exchanged outside the Central Bar in Newton Stewart and Mr Banka had insulted Beattie.
Later on, when Mr Banka was walking home he was approached by Beattie and stabbed three times.
Ms Connor told the court Beattie had been forced into the paramilitary organisation.
She said he had been on the run from the UVF after being released from prison in 1999 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, having served four years of an 11-year term for a murder bid.
She added that on one occasion Beattie had been shot in the legs and still took painkillers and anti-depressants.
Ms Connor said he had only recently moved to Scotland after police warned him they could not protect his life after he appeared in a newspaper story about his suffering at the hands of paramilitaries.
"This is not a sob story for Beattie but his background is such it is different from what you would normally expect in this country," she said.
"He accepts his response was disproportionate to the level of provocation.
"He is genuinely sorry and horrified by his actions," said Ms Connor.
She added that Beattie could not recall the incident and had been on a drinking binge and taken alcohol along with painkillers and anti-depressants.
Lord Kinclaven told him: "Your drinking and treatment at the hands of the paramilitary organisation by some way explains your behaviour, but does not excuse it."