A man who was stabbed in the neck outside a West Lothian gym was “in a bad way” when police arrived, a jury heard.
The first officer on the scene said he saw Dale Dickson, 28, sitting on a chair outside the Muscle Asylum gym in Bathgate with a pool of blood in front of him.
PC Callum Skean said: “I could see him applying pressure to the left-hand side of his neck with a jumper which I think was given to him by the man who flagged us down.
“He did speak a couple of words but he was obviously in a bad way, losing a lot of blood. He said ‘They cut my jugular’.
“He was probably feeling like he was close to death. He told me that he was done.
“He slumped off the chair as I was attending to him and he became more unresponsive.”
PC Skean said he did what he could to help the bleeding man until paramedics arrived and took over.
Richard Hines, who runs the Sparkle Totz children’s clothing shop next door to the gym, said Dickson came into the shop covered in blood.
He said: “At first I thought it was just his nose that was burst. He just said he’d been stabbed in the neck.
“I took my fleece off, wrapped it around his neck and held it then I took him outside and phoned an ambulance.
“He was holding his neck and after that my partner took over. He was coughing up blood later on.”
Gym owner Mark Fell, 30, told the jury that Gary Harkins – the man accused of attempting to murder Mr Dickson on December 13 last year – was a regular user of the gym.
However, he said he did not recall Harkins being in his office that day.
He accepted he had told police he heard shouting outside the gym “literally seconds” after Mr Dickson left.
He told the jury: “I went to leave the office and I seen Dale holding his neck and covered in blood. I’ve got a serious phobia of blood. So when I’ve seen Dale in that position obviously it’s been a fright.”
Surgeon Iain Nixon, who operated on Mr Dickson at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, said the injury suggested that whatever had caused it had gone through the skin and the vein into the back of the tongue.
“Without intervention it would be likely he’d suffer significant long lasting effects,” he said. “There’d be the possibility of death.”
The jury heard that Mr Dickson told detectives who went to interview him in hospital that he did not want to say who had stabbed him “because he didn’t want to be a grass”.
Detective constable Alistair Urquhart, 36, said he searched Harkins’ home in Main Street, Bathgate, with a specialist search team the day after the stabbing. He said officers did not find either blood stained clothing or a knife which could have been the attack weapon.
Harkins, 43, denies repeatedly stabbing Mr Dickson on the head and body to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and the danger of his life.
The trial continues.