OAP jailed for stabbing pal after TV row

Court heard OAP stabbed his pal
Court heard OAP stabbed his pal

A pensioner celebrating his 75th birthday who stabbed and seriously injured his long time friend has been jailed for 16 months.

Robert Wotherspoon and James Cunningham had been drinking heavily and argued over what to watch on television.

Wotherspoon, of Forgewood Road, Motherwell, admitted assaulting Mr Cunningham (60) to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement. The attack happened at Wotherspoon’s home on November 26 last year.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard Mr Cunningham suffered two stab wounds and a partially collapsed lung.

Wotherspoon has no previous convictions but Sheriff Ray Small told him: “You stabbed your friend not once but twice over an argument about the TV remote control.

“I appreciate you are a first offender and there are community-based options open to me, but it seems the nature of this is so serious that no disposal other than custody is appropriate.”

The sheriff said it was “more good luck than judgment” that the attack didn’t have even more serious consequences.

Callum Forsyth, prosecuting, said that when police officers arrived Wotherspoon told them: “I stabbed wee Jamesie twice.”

Mr Forsyth told the court the men had been friends “for many years” and met up to celebrate the accused’s 75th birthday.

He said: “Throughout the day they consumed a significant quantity of alcohol. An argument escalated just after midnight and the accused asked Mr Cunningham to leave his house, but he refused.

“Wotherspoon then went into the kitchen, took a knife from the knife block then walked towards his friend, who was sitting on the couch, and stabbed him twice.

“The first blow was to the left side of the chest and the second was in the area of the left armpit.”

The victim was taken to Wishaw General Hospital where the stab wounds were stitched.

Sheriff Small said it seemed that Mr Cunningham had “taunted” Wotherspoon when he appeared with the knife, sayign he “didn’t have the guts to use it”.

The sheriff added: “That was a bad call by the friend.”

Defence agent Matthew Berlow said there had been provocation and Wotherspoon had asked Mr Cunningham to leave the house as many as ten times.

Mr Berlow admitted: “That’s no excuse for his behaviour. It was an utter over-reaction and completely out of character.

“However, he is deemed at minimal risk of re-offending and does not seem to have a particular problem with alcohol although it was the catalyst here.”