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Boy, 15, lost half a pint of blood after horror scissor stabbing in Perth

Reece Duncan, 18, admitted the serious assault on Moncreiffe Island.
Reece Duncan, 18, admitted the serious assault on Moncreiffe Island.

A schoolboy lost nearly half a pint of blood following a horror Halloween stabbing in Perth.

The 15-year-old was slashed three times with a pair of scissors during the assault on Moncreiffe Island.

Pals rushed to his aid and used clothes to stem the bleeding.

One wound was so deep it had penetrated his thighbone, doctors said.

Reece Duncan appeared at Perth Sheriff Court and admitted the attack on October 31, 2020, when he was just 16.

The court heard he was “out of control” on tonic wine.

A sheriff gave the teenager a final chance to avoid detention, and told him if he was a bit older he would certainly have been locked up.

Unhappy picture

Duncan, now 18, also admitted assaulting two 15-year-olds on the same evening.

He threatened other youths while claiming to have a knife.

Fiscal depute Joanne Ritchie described Moncreiffe Island as “an area frequented by youths who meet there in large numbers to consume alcohol.”

She said a group of friends saw Duncan on the island with ripped jeans and blood on his top.

The attack happened on Moncreiffe Island in the River Tay.

Duncan asked one of the group to take his photo.

But when he was “unhappy” with the picture, Duncan smacked the boy in the face.

Later, Duncan stopped two girls on the railway bridge that links the island with the city centre.

“About halfway across, the accused ordered them to give him alcohol and if they didn’t get him drink, he would kill them,” said Ms Ritchie.

When they told him they didn’t have any drink, Duncan began ranting and swearing. “This is rich,” he told them.

“This incident left the witnesses scared and upset, because they didn’t know what the accused would do to them,” the prosecutor said.

‘He’s been stabbed’

At around 8pm, Duncan was seen punching another boy to the face.

“The complainer (who was 15) intervened and pushed the accused away,” Ms Ritchie told the court.

“The accused fell to the ground and then swung a punch at the boy, who then hit him on the nose causing it to bleed. They engaged in a fight.”

The court heard Duncan pulled the boy to the ground and the pair continued throwing punches at each other for several minutes.

Reece Duncan.

“A number of witnesses watched the fight from the railway bridge,” the fiscal depute said.

“Someone shouted: ‘He’s been stabbed.’

“A witness saw the complainer lying on the ground, while the accused repeatedly hit him on the face and body.

“She observed the accused raise his hand as though he had something in it.

“He then made a stabbing motion, striking the complainer several times to the body and the head.”

Other teenagers later told police they saw Duncan holding a pair of scissors.

“The accused and others then ran past towards Tay Street,” said Ms Ritchie.

At this time, a splash was heard as if something had been thrown into the river.

“Several witnesses assisted the complainer,” the fiscal depute said. “He was informed he had been stabbed and pressure was applied to his injuries using clothing.”

Perth Sheriff Court exterior
Perth Sheriff Court.

Emergency services were scrambled to the island. Officers found the teenage victim lying on the ground soaked in blood.

“He had one injury to his left thigh, and two to his back,” said Ms Ritchie.

“The complainer was able to give a brief account of what happened before he was taken by ambulance to Ninewells Hospital.”

The court heard the two upper body wounds went as deep as his chest wall, while the injury to his leg had penetrated his femur.

Ms Ritchie said “The Scottish Ambulance Service believe that the boy bled out approximately 250ml of blood prior to reaching the hospital.”

The youngster’s injuries were sutured and he was well enough to leave hospital the next day.

Police later arrested Duncan at a house in Victoria Street, Perth. They found him wearing a polo shirt with blood spatter.

Concern over continued denial

The court heard that Duncan, of Scott Street, Perth, continued to deny stabbing his victim – but he conceded he was too drunk to remember what he did.

Solicitor Paul Ralph, defending, said his client now accepted what witnesses had seen.

Mr Ralph told the court: “At the time, he was hanging around with an older group of young men – some of whom are very well known to this building.

“His memory is that he was supplied with small bottles of tonic wine, not Buckfast. He had any number of those that night.

“He is aware of having a scuffle with a friend, some kind of play fighting, and that’s why his jeans were ripped.

“He then remembers going towards the island, but he has no memory of the arguments that break out, and he has know memory of the incident involving the stabbing charge.”

The solicitor said: “He did not leave home with the scissors that night, but he accepts that at some point he was in possession of them.”

Mr Ralph said his client had been on curfew for two years.

Sheriff’s warning

Sheriff William Wood deferred sentence until February so that Duncan can keep working on the Right Track programme for young offenders.

“Clearly the incidents of this night were appalling,” the sheriff said.

Reece Duncan appeared at Perth Sheriff Court.

“Here you are attacking people of your own age in a way that was completely out of control.

“The fact you had taken alcohol is not mitigation – that’s an aggravation, because it makes things worse.

“If you were over 18 at the time, I would almost certainly have placed you in detention for this, because you simply cannot go about stabbing people.”

The sheriff warned: “I don’t intend to take that (the option of detention) off the table at this stage, but I want to see how you get on with other methods.”