Dad hopes thugs’ sentence turns teenagers off knives

Robert Grant told the Evening News about the attack in March 2011
Robert Grant told the Evening News about the attack in March 2011
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A FATHER-of-four today said he hoped the sentences given to two 15-year-old boys who slashed his face with a craft knife after he refused to give them a cigarette would deter other youths from carrying knives.

Robert Grant was walking home when he was attacked by drunk teenagers Daniel Hunter and Gary Porteous outside a church while a service was going on inside.

The 52-year-old said he still suffered from flashbacks to the brutal attack, and remained afraid to leave his home alone a year after the incident. Mr Grant said friends of Hunter and Porteous had verbally abused him in the street, accusing him of being a “grass” for assisting police with their inquiries.

Now both 16, Hunter, of Forrester Park Drive, was detained for 93 weeks and Porteous, of Wester Hailes Park, for 132 weeks at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday after earlier pleading guilty to assault.

Hunter admitted assaulting a 14-year-old girl and robbing her of two cigarettes half an hour before the assault on Mr Grant on March 27 last year.

Mr Grant, who was punched and kicked unconscious, needed 49 stitches in two slashes on his face, and suffered two broken cheekbones, a broken nose and fractured ribs.

Mr Grant, who still lives in Wester Hailes, said: “I’m quite happy with the sentence. If it can act as a deterrent for any other kids carrying knives then at least some good has come out if what happened.

“I won’t go out on my own in Wester Hailes any more. I often stay with my son in Dalry or my daughter in Livingston and I’m not bad at going out there. But I won’t go out alone around where I live.”

Mr Grant was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after being found outside the Holy Trinity Church in Hailesland Place by a worshipper.

Mr Grant added: “I have a ten-inch scar on my face. The broken cheekbones and broken nose have healed OK but my jawbone can still be sore.

“I have flashbacks and I find it difficult to sleep at night. It will be a long time before I get my trust back about young people.”

Fiscal depute Michelle Young described the assault to the court yesterday. She said: “The accused, Hunter, said ‘Right. Let’s get him’ and they both began to repeatedly punch him and knocked him to the ground.

“While on the ground, Porteous produced a Stanley knife and slashed Mr Grant on the left side of his face, while Hunter continued to stamp on his head.”

In the earlier incident, three girls, two aged 14 and one 13, were walking in Clovenstone Road, when they met the two boys. Porteous demanded that one of the 14-year-olds give a cigarette to Hunter.

She refused and was chased by Hunter, who threw her against a wall and produced a craft knife from his sock.

Hunter was also sentenced to 121 weeks detention after pleading guilty to assaulting and robbing a 17-year-old youth of a £1 coin and loose change in the Calder Road underpass on February 9 this year.