Man tried to murder uncle after argument over dog

High Court in Edinburgh
High Court in Edinburgh

A MAN tried to murder his uncle in a stabbing attack following a dispute over the ownership of a dog.

James McKenna, 25, had collected the animal from a cat and dog home after it ended up there when his uncle was not able to care for it for a time.

David Forbes had hoped to get Kane, an American bulldog/mastiff cross, back but ended up in hospital undergoing emergency surgery after McKenna attacked him.

McKenna, of Wester Drylaw Drive, had denied attempting to murder Mr Forbes on Hogmanay in 2015 following the assault at Muirhouse Place East.

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But a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday convicted him of the murder bid on his uncle, who was aged 53 at the time.

McKenna, a painter and decorator, who was on bail at the time, repeatedly struck his victim with a knife or similar weapon on the body to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life.

A 999 call was made after the murder bid and the victim was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh where he was treated for multiple stab wounds to his right chest and right hand.

McKenna later told his father in a phone call that his uncle had attacked him and “in a panic” he had stabbed him.

The court heard that at one stage Mr Forbes had been unable to look after the dog and another relative was supposed to take care of it but he then found out it had been placed in a home

He said McKenna had got the animal out of there “on my behalf”. He said: “I tried to get the dog back. I always wanted the dog back.”

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McKenna’s defence solicitor advocate John Keenan asked Mr Forbes whether he had passed on threats through a third party that he would see him “done in”. Mr Forbes replied: “Why would I do that? He is my nephew.”

He denied that he had assaulted McKenna and repeatedly punched about the head. He said that after the attack on him by McKenna he was left with “gaping wounds”.

Advocate depute Jim Keegan QC asked Mr Forbes if he had perpetrated any violence. He replied: “No.”

The prosecutor asked: “Apart from asking for the return of your dog did you issue any threats of violence, or for that matter commit any violence, to James McKenna?”. The attack victim said: “No.”

Following his conviction, Mr Keenan asked that McKenna’s bail be continued while a background report was prepared on him ahead of sentencing next month.

But the trial judge, Lady Scott, said he would be remanded in custody.