A TEENAGER who knifed his dad has escaped being locked up – after his forgiving parents pleaded with a Sheriff NOT to put him behind bars.
Craig MacDougall, 18, caused such a severe injury when he plunged a knife into his dad’s leg that the victim could have bled to death.
MacDougall was convicted of assaulting his father, Albert, by a jury at Paisley Sheriff Court.
He was facing a custodial sentence until Sheriff Neil Douglas took the unusual step of calling Mr MacDougall and his wife Edna forward to approach the bench and asked if they would be happy to welcome their son back.
His parents confirmed they would prefer to have him home rather than seeing him locked up.
During the trial, the court heard how loud music sparked a fight between the teenager and his fireman father on March 1, last year.
When MacDougall was told to keep the noise down, he became so angry that he kicked his dad on the leg before disappearing into the kitchen.
When the argument continued there, a scuffle broke out and both father and son ended up on the floor.
It was at this stage that Mr MacDougall was stabbed in the leg.
The blade punctured a main artery and, as blood spurted from the wound, towels were used to try to stem the flow as an ambulance crew and police were called.
The court heard that, if urgent treatment had not been given, Mr MacDougall might have lost so much blood that he could have died.
MacDougall was convicted of assaulting his dad to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of life at the family home in Renfrew.
When he returned to court for sentencing, his parents told Sheriff Douglas that he had turned over a new leaf.
Sheriff Douglas said that, as the background circumstances were unusual and he had been persuaded that MacDougall’s parents were prepared to forgive him and take him back, he would not impose a custodial sentence.
He placed the accussed on probation for three years and told him: “They are willing to welcome you back. You have to get on with them.
“If there is any further offending of this nature – or any form of assault – I will be almost certain to revoke the probation order and the sentence the court would be bound to impose would then be counted in years.
“If your behaviour in the house is such that you are no longer welcome there, I will also have to give some serious consideration to that.”
Sheriff Douglas said he wished to monitor MacDougall’s progress closely and would call for a review in two months’ time to keep himself fully informed on developments.
After being sentenced, MacDougall told the Paisley Daily Express that his family wanted to forget all about the stabbing incident.
He said: “I just want to put it all behind us and so does my dad.”