A teenager who repeatedly stabbed a man at a party when he was just 15 has been warned to turn his life around by a sheriff.
Callum Ballingal avoided a jail sentence after the sheriff heard he was trying to leave the party following an earlier altercation with his victim, in which he had come off “second best”.
The 18-year-old, who has been on remand for offences since he was 16, also claimed to have received a threatening text message from his victim.
Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane placed him on a three-month curfew and a two-year supervision order.
After reading reports into his background – which were not disclosed to the court – she told him: “Don’t let your past define you.
“Make changes and get sorted – turn your life around.
“I don’t want to see you in 10 years’ time and say you’re doing a life sentence by instalments.”
Stabbed three times
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court earlier heard how Ballingal had argued with John McHale, a man in his 20s, at the party in Leven.
Fiscal depute Ronnie Hay said: “The accused left the property first.
“Mr McHale went to the communal stair.
“Numerous witnesses saw the accused and Mr McHale engage in a second fight, whereby the accused was seen to punch Mr McHale three times in the left side of his torso.
“It turns out that what looked like punches were in fact three stab wounds inflicted by the accused.”
Horrified party-goers noticed Mr McHale’s T-shirt becoming soaked in blood and found he had stab wounds on his back.
Mr McHale was treated in hospital for three wounds, two of which were not considered deep, and discharged himself.
Accused was ‘getting head stamped on’
Ballingal from the Leven area, admitted assaulting Mr McHale at an address in Buckhaven by repeatedly striking him with a knife to his severe injury on August 3, 2019.
Ballingal’s defence agent Joe Mooney told the court that he had initially tried to leave the property through the kitchen window but had been unable to do so due to security locks.
He said his client had lacked “consequential thinking” when taking the knife and accepted that after leaving the property he should have run away.
Ballingal told police he had felt to need to take the knife “because I was getting my head stamped on”.
Mr Mooney said that after discharging himself from hospital against medical advice, Mr McHale had sent Ballingal a threatening message leaving him in fear of “serious retribution” and causing him to call in the police.
He said: “He regrets every part of this incident and he’s shown some awareness of the wrong he did.”