Drunk knife thug left blade stuck in victim’s face

Lee James attacked John allan on Dysart High Street. Picture: Google
Lee James attacked John allan on Dysart High Street. Picture: Google

A drunken knife attacker who left part of a blade embedded in his victim’s face during a vicious assault was jailed for six years today.

Lee James (35) savagely wounded Lee Deamer after arming himself with two knives and threatening regulars at a pub.

A judge told James at the High Court in Edinburgh: “The only one to blame for what happened that night is yourself.”

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Lord Boyd of Duncansby pointed out that a social worker who prepared a report on James said: “He presents as someone indifferent to causing harm to others.”

The judge also ordered that James be kept under supervision and monitored for a further three years.

Before assaulting Mr Deamer James had already attacked John Allan in the High Street, at Dysart, in Fife by striking him on the face with a bottle.

After the attacks James was seen on the Fife coastal path near West Wemyss shouting and making slashing gestures with a knife.

He was detained by police firearms officers who had their weapons drawn, the court heard.

James, formerly of High Street, Dysart, was originally charged with attempting to murder Mr Deamer, who was aged 32 at the time, on May 31 last year.

But the Crown accepted his guilty plea to a reduced charge of assaulting Mr Deamer to his severe injury, permanent impairment and disfigurement and to the danger of his life.

He also admitted assaulting Mr Allan on the same date, behaving in a threatening manner and illegally possessing two knives in a public place.

Advocate depute Barry Smith said the assault victims were at Baxter’s Bar in the High Street with other regular customers when James arrived after buying a bottle of alcohol from a shop.

He bought a drink in the pub and went to the front door with it. Another patron told him he was not allowed to drink outside and he should go back inside.

James, who was earlier caught on camera staggering, immediately became aggressive and threatened to take him on.

James again challenged the man inside the bar and followed him out of the premises. Mr Deamer also went outside and tried unsuccessfully to pacify James, said Mr Smith.

Mr Allan also joined the group outside and James declared: “I’m gonna do you all.” He then swung a bag containing the bottle and struck Mr Allan on the face with it before walking off.

But five minutes later James returned to the pub with a knife in each hand and tapped on a window at the bar and shouted: “You’re all dead.”

Mr Deamer left the bar to speak to James and as he approached him saw he had a knife in his right hand.

Mr Smith said: “The accused then swung his left hand and struck Mr Deamer on his left cheek. Mr Deamer thought he had been punched but as the accused drew his hand back, he became aware of something in his hand. He realised that he was bleeding.”

The victim was taken to hospital for treatment and police were contacted. Mr Deamer was found to have two 10 centimetre wounds and suffered facial fractures.

A CT scan showed that he had part of the blade in his face and surgeons operated to remove it.

The prosecutor said: “The surgeons who operated on Mr Deamer confirmed that the injury was potentially life threatening due to the proximity of the blade to large blood vessels.”

James, who has previous convictions for violence and weapon possession, had drunk “a considerable amount of alcohol”, said defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson.

Mr Paterson added: “Because of the amount of alcohol he consumed clearly his level of ability to control himself was vastly reduced.”