Man accused of knife attack

A man is facing trial by jury after being accused of launching a serious knife attack at the Brae Hotel.

Sydney Peter James Johnson, who is known as James, 22, of Sullom, denies brandishing a knife on 20th January last year.

He pleads not guilty to punching and stabbing his victim on the body to his severe injury and danger of life.

Johnson also denies having an offensive weapon – namely a metal pipe – as well as a knife. He is accused disposing of the items in a cigarette bin and placing his jacket and hat in another person’s bag to conceal his guilt.

Much of the evidence led today by procurator fiscal depute Saima Rasheed focused on a transcript of a police interview on 21st January, when Johnson was initially charged with attempted murder.

The court was told Johnson had gone to the Northern Lights Bar in the Brae Hotel after a female friend said she was leaving her abusive partner – Johnson’s alleged victim.

Under police questioning Johnson said a meeting at the hotel had been mutually arranged to help the woman get her property back following the split.

But the court heard things turned sour when the ex-partner dragged her out to a waiting car and “slashed” her face, just as Johnson was playing pool with friends.

Johnson told police he went to get the woman back to safety. He said he had punched his victim but did not have a knife.

“I didn’t stab him. I gave him a blow to the chest,” the transcript read.

The court heard a witness described Johnson landing a blow on his victim, and that a man with a “very serious injury” had been found lying in his own blood, stating that Johnson had stabbed him.

Ms Rasheed said CCTV showed Johnson had delivered a blow to his victim in the car and – back in the Northern Lights Bar – had taken a knife out of his back pocket to show to his companions, Graeme Hannah and Shaun Hurson.

She added Johnson had approached his female friend and appeared to show her something in his hand.

During the police interview Johnson was also questioned about a short length of metal pipe. He initially made no comment, but later said it had come from his granny’s address where he had been working on a wardrobe.

The trial before sheriff Philip Mann continues.


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