Jail for teen who stabbed his brother

editorial image

A north east Fife grouse beater who stabbed his brother and left him for dead in a row over a puppy has been jailed for three years and three months.

Noel Barclay (19) left his brother Sean (23) scarred for life after lashing out with an eight inch knife when he was told off for letting his Labrador off a lead.

Sean Barclay was left with life-threatening injuries when his younger brother stabbed him three times and then left him bleeding in the street.

At the High Court in Perth, Lord Burns jailed Barclay and added a further 12 months supervised release period to protect the public because of his ‘propensity to resort to violence.’

Lord Burns told Barclay: “The arguments you had with your brother were over trivial matters and it is tragic that you find yourself in the dock of the High Court, having brought shame upon yourself and your entire family.

“I accept your brother struck you during the first incident but that in no way excuses or mitigates your later repeated use of a knife upon him.

“You inflicted significant injuries which were life threatening. This was not self-defence, nor was it a spontaneous response.”

Barclay had earlier admitted assaulting his older brother Sean Barclay to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life in Tayport on 27 October last year.

The teenager, who works as a grouse beater, had originally been charged with attempted murder, but the Crown accepted his plea to the lesser charge.

Advocate depute Shanti Maguire, prosecuting, said that Barclay was seen by his family walking the puppy off the lead when he took it to a local shop.

Ms Maguire said: “The dog was running about and they weren’t happy about this.” Words were exchanged and the accused was punched first by Sean.

The initial incident came to an end and the brothers went their separate ways, but when they met again later in the day further blows were traded between them.

Ms Maguire said: “The accused pulled an eight-inch knife out of a sheath and struck his brother two or three times. Barclay then ran off leaving his badly injured brother screaming for help and shouting: ‘I’ve been stabbed’.”

The victim tried to protect his brother by telling police who arrived at the scene that a random stranger had stabbed him. Mr Barclay had to undergo keyhole surgery and doctors confirmed that his injuries had been life-threatening.

Solicitor advocate, Simon Collins, defending, said: “Noel Barclay is employed as a grouse beater on an estate. His brother Sean accepts that it was he who threw the first punch.

“There had been a fallout between himself and his mother over a fairly trivial matter - whether or not the dog had been under control. That resulted in escalating to what happened thereafter.

“The complainer felt that Mr Barclay was being disrespectful to their mother in the way he reacted. His brother has stated that he did not think this was an attempt on his life.

“He is concerned about the impact on his family and has expressed regret for the injury caused to his brother. There were a number of young men living in the house and there was a fairly tempestuous relationship between them.”