Family funeral row ends in stabbing, court told

High Court. File picture: Ian Georgeson
High Court. File picture: Ian Georgeson
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A convicted killer stabbed his brother in the back after a row over a family funeral following his release from prison.

Graham Campbell inflicted the four-inch-deep wound on his older sibling David while the victim sat in his leather reclining chair in the living room of his flat.

Advocate depute Jane Farquharson told the High Court in Edinburgh: “He describes feeling ‘an almighty thud in my back’. He then felt a warm trickle down his back and knew this to be blood.”

The attacker then helped himself to £40 of his brother’s money and left the flat in Hailesland Grove, Edinburgh, taking the knife, with a 21-centimetre-long blade, with him.

Campbell, 47, had been asked to leave following an argument in the early hours of the morning.

He was charged with attempting to murder David Campbell, 52, after the attack on April 23 this year.

But the Crown today accepted his guilty plea to a reduced charge of assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement, and theft.

The court heard that the knife attacker had previously been jailed for 10 years in 1992 for culpable homicide and again in 2006 for fours years for an assault.

The prosecutor said: “At the time of this offence the accused had recently been released from serving a sentence of eight months imprisonment for an offence of domestically aggravated assault to injury.”

The victim had been allowing Campbell, of no fixed abode, to occasionally stay over at his flat following his release from his last jail sentence.

Miss Farquharson said: “At the time of this offence the relationship between both brothers was strained.”

She said on April 22 Campbell had visited his brother following the death of an uncle whose funeral was to take place the next day.

“The accused had been asked by his mother not to attend. Although upset by this request the accused understood and was prepared to abide by it,” she added.

Campbell left in the afternoon with his brother spending the evening alone in his flat watching TV. Campbell returned in the early hours of the morning intoxicated after drinking and began smoking heroin.

Miss Farquharson said: “An argument ensued between the accused and the victim about the funeral and about the manner in which the accused perceived his brother treated him.”

Campbell was asked to leave the flat but picked up the knife and stabbed his brother, who phoned for an ambulance after the attacker left.

Campbell was stopped by police on Murrayburn Road and told officers that the knife was in a black holdall he had with him.

His brother was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment for the single stab wound inflicted on him.

The prosecutor said: “The trajectory of the injury inflicted meant that the stab wound did not penetrate the chest cavity and so there was no risk to life.”

“He was released from hospital later on that morning to attend the family funeral,” she said.

Defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC said: “There was clearly some kind of prolonged argument, in the sense that there was a neighbour who heard voices from more than one party.”

Mr McConnachie told the court that the argument was not so much about the funeral but about the way Campbell perceived that the victim was treating him.

The defence counsel said Campbell maintained that it was his half-brother who had brought the knife into the living room.

The judge, Lady Wolffe, said it was “a serious matter”. She adjourned the case for sentence and called for a background report to address the issue of risk. Campbell is in custody.