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Aberdeen man jailed for stabbing drug dealer in thigh

Barry Kirton.
Barry Kirton.

A yob has been jailed after bringing a knife to a drug meet and stabbing his dealer in the thigh.

Barry Kirton had met the man to purchase drugs on Charles Street in Aberdeen, but decided to arm himself with a knife after feeling nervous.

And during the transaction, the 42-year-old produced the blade and a struggle ensured.

Both men sustained cuts to their hands during the tussle, before Kirton stabbed his victim in the leg and ran off, leaving the man bleeding heavily.

Fiscal depute Colin Neilson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “The complainer resides near the locus and does not know the accused.

“The locus is outside the entrance to a block of flats.

“At 4pm on November 1 2020, the complainer left to go for a walk.”

Mr Neilson said the man was approached by Kirton who spoke to him, however the man could not understand because he was speaking too quickly.

The fiscal said Kirton then produced a five or six-inch kitchen knife and “brandished” it at the man.

A struggle ensued with Kirton grabbing the man’s clothing and the man grabbing Kirton’s arm.

Both men fell to the ground and the male lost his grip on Kirton’s arm.

Mr Neilson said: “The accused swung the knife and stabbed the complainer in the right thigh.”

Kirton then ran away and a third party phoned an ambulance for his victim.

Kirton’s victim was left with a one-inch stab wound that was closed using a suture, as well as cuts to his hands.

Kirton, a prisoner of HMP Grampian, pled guilty to a charge of assault to severe injury, by brandishing a knife, struggling with the man whereby he fell to the ground, and striking him on the body with the knife.

Defence agent Iain Hingston said his client was aware that only a custodial sentence would be appropriate for the offence.

He said the assault had not been “random”, adding: “There is a background here.”

The solicitor explained Kirton had previously been in a small amount of debt with “very serious” drug users and drug runners, but had managed to “break free” from that and lived a “reasonably quiet life” up until around the time of the offence.

He said Kirton still suffered from “drug cravings” and had come back into contact with the group while trying to source drugs.

‘The whole thing got rapidly out of control’

Mr Hingston said: “He has previously had difficulties when purchasing controlled drugs in terms of being threatened.

“He accepts the knife was in his possession.

“The individual here, Mr Kirton does not know and had never met before.

“This is a drugs transaction.

“Effectively what happened was the whole situation was very nervous and unsettling.

“Mr Kirton was uneasy and sensed something wasn’t quite right.

“He accepts he produced the knife and the other individual responded. There was a struggle for the knife.

“Mr Kirton also had a number of lacerations to his hands.

“The whole thing got rapidly out of control.”

Sheriff Philip Mann told Kirton: “You took a knife with you to this drugs meeting and you are now suffering the consequences of that.

“The trouble with arming yourself with a knife is that things like this can and do happen.

“I think it’s probably just a matter of good luck rather than design that the consequences of the assault on this individual with a knife were not far more serious.

“The court has to take a very stern view of offending of this nature involving severe injury by the use of a knife.”

He ordered Kirton to be returned to prison for a period of six months over another matter, and imposed a 20-month sentence in relation to the stabbing.

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