A drug addict who tried to murder a man in a brutal knife attack at a Fraserburgh play park has launched a fight to clear his name.
Aaron Dines, known as Morrison, was jailed for eight years after wounding his victim five times in an attack at Bruar Court in Fraserburgh. This included three injuries to his abdomen.
He left his 32-year-old victim Martin Noble permanently scarred.
When police arrested him following the attempted murder he told officers: “It was me getting stabbed.”
Morrison, a former tyre fitter, of Ash-Hill Place, Aberdeen, denied the crime, which happened on November 29, 2018 but was convicted following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh last November.
Now, lawyers for Morrison believe he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice and will address the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh next month.
Last year’s trial
At proceedings last year, a jury heard police and ambulance personnel found the wounded victim bleeding heavily outside a Co-op in the Aberdeenshire town following the stabbing.
An acquaintance of the victim, Derek Kewley, said he had met up with him and his girlfriend and had gone to the park hoping to buy drugs.
He said they met Morrison and another man but an argument broke out over money.
Morrison pulled out a knife and a struggle broke out between him and Mr Noble.
Morrison lunged at his victim, who shouted: “I have been stabbed.”
Morrison told his trial that at the time of the offence he was living in Fraserburgh and was addicted to crack cocaine.
He was in receipt of benefits but was also “hand tapping” – soliciting change from members of the public – to fund his drug habit.
He accepted that he was due Mr Noble money and that he had eight or nine smokes of crack cocaine before the confrontation at the play park.
Defence counsel David Moggach said that Morrison was currently unemployed and suffered from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
He said: “He advises his childhood wasn’t a pleasant one. He first experimented with drugs at the age of 13.”
Morrison was found guilty of repeatedly striking Mr Noble on the body with a knife to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life and attempting to murder him.
He lodged a special defence of self-defence but told jurors: “I have never used knives in my life. I didn’t stab Martin Noble. I was petrified for my life.”
The trial judge, Lord Beckett, said that although Morrison did not have a previous conviction of comparable gravity he did have one for possession of an offensive weapon and seven for assault.
The judge said he had to impose a sentence that sought to deter Morrison and others from carrying knives in public.
Morrison’s hearing will be held on May 13 2021.