Five years for revenge stabbing thug who left victim fighting for his life



A 20-year-old thug, who almost killed a young dad in a vicious revenge stabbing in a Fife street, has been jailed for five years.

Keiran McAlpine knived George Courts in the stomach outside a shop in Lochgelly, minutes after being involved in an altercation with him.

A fight had broken out and after coming off worse, McAlpine went to his home nearby.

He returned armed with a knife accompanied by a 16-year-old youth and brutally stabbed Mr Courts, leaving him fighting for his life.

After a four-day trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court last month, a jury unanimously found McAlpine guilty of three charges.

On 30th April last year at Knockhill Close, Lochgelly, he assaulted George Courts by striking him on the body with a knife to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life.

On the same day at Francis Street, Knockhill Close and elsewhere he was in possession of a knife in a public place.

He was also convicted of putting his clothes and the knife in the washing machine at his then home in Francis Street, Lochgelly, in an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

When he returned to court for sentencing today, Sheriff Charles MacNair said, “This was not a provoked attack but a revenge attack.”

McAlpine was seen beckoning his 23-year-old victim to a part of the street which was not covered by CCTV before stabbing him, the wound piercing his abdomen and liver.

The sheriff praised the quick actions of two friends of Mr Courts who saw the incident.

“It was only through the very quick thinking of these two men that the complainer survived this attack,” said Sheriff MacNair. “If they had waited for an ambulance it would not have been an assault charge you were facing,” he told McAlpine.

Kieran Foy and Reece Tweedie helped the injured man into Mr Tweedie’s car and rushed him to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

Mr Tweedie drove at top speed while Mr Foy held a tee-shirt against his friend’s wound to stem the blood flow.

They had to stop on the way to allow the victim to be sick and then they carried him into the accident and emergency department on reaching the hospital.

During the trial, Sheriff MacNair praised the actions of Mr Foy (22), from Cowdenbeath, and Mr Tweedie (22), from Lochgelly.

The sheriff said, “Between the two of you, you probably saved his life. You should feel very proud of yourselves.”

As Mr Courts received life-saving surgery, McAlpine went back home to put his clothes and the knife into his washing machine.

During the trial, McAlpine, who moved to Dysart since the incident, blamed the stabbing on the youth was with him.

The youth, now 17, answered “no comment” to all questions put to him in the witness box.

Mr Courts, a painter and decorator, from Ballingry, has since made a full recovery.

His girlfriend had been pregnant at the time of the stabbing and gave birth to their second child last summer.

Reece Tweedie said, “The doctors told us if we’d waited for an ambulance George probably wouldn’t have survived because he was losing so much blood.”

After the verdict, the victim’s dad, George Courts senior, said, “We’re pleased with the sentence. We feel that justice has now been done and we can get on with our lives.”

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