Edinburgh crime: Knife thug who attacked cyclist on Union Canal pathway jailed

A knife thug who attacked a cyclist with a blade and attempted to bite his face on an Edinburgh canal path has been jailed.

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Robert Dunn, 27, was seen sitting on the ground near to a bridge when biker Francisco Moreno approached while out on his morning cycle.

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As the cyclist got near to Dunn the attacker jumped up and lunged at him with the knife in his hand.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court where Chateur was banned

The brave cyclist managed to fight off the attack by grabbing hold of the “serrated” blade with his hands and wrestled the weapon from Dunn’s grasp.

The 40-year-old victim suffered numerous cuts to his hands and fingers during the violent incident at the Union Canal pathway on October 10 last year.

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A passing jogger spotted the attack and called in the police leading to Dunn run from the scene.

In the hours following the attack Dunn emailed and phoned police to claim he needed help for his mental health issues.

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He was picked later that day up by officers while in possession of a pair of scissors at the city’s Princes Street.

Dunn appeared via a video link from HMP Edinburgh to plead guilty to three charges during an appearance at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday. (TUES)

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Fiscal depute Jennifer McLaren told the court Mr Moreno was on a morning cycle along the canal when he encountered Dunn at around 9.55am.

He was approaching a bridge near to Murrayburn Road when he first saw Dunn sitting on the ground.

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Ms McLaren said: “At the middle of the bridge Mr Dunn jumped up and lunged at Mr Moreno and at this time Mr Moreno observed he had a knife in his hand.

“Mr Dunn attempted to strike towards Mr Dunn’s stomach.

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“Before the blade could strike Mr Moreno grabbed the blade with both hands.

“Both men were holding onto the knife and a struggle ensued between them for around one minute.

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“During this Mr Dunn was snapping his teeth in an attempt to to bite Mr Moreno on the face.”

The court heard the cyclist suffered injuries to his hands but had managed to take hold of the knife and threw it to safety into a nearby bush.

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Mr Moreno was seen to be shouting for help and a passing jogger came to his aid resulting in Dunn fleeing the area.

The fiscal said Dunn then emailed police at around 2.40pm that day stating he had “mental health issues” and that he suffered from “delusions and hallucinations”.

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Dunn said he had attempted to get help by “phoning 101 multiple times” in a bid to get help but claims he was “ignored”.

During the email contact he said if he failed to get treatment he would “go on a mass spree”.

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The court also heard Dunn phoned the police to say he “wasn’t sure if he had attacked someone at the canal” earlier that day.

He was eventually picked up by police at Princes Street and when searched it was found he was carrying a pair of scissors in a bag.

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Sheriff Alistair Noble remanded Dunn in custody and deferred sentence for reports to next month.

Dunn admitted to charges of possessing a knife and a pair of scissors, and to assaulting Mr Moreno by repeatedly attempting to strike him with a knife and attempt to bite him on the face, all on October 10 last year.

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