A Fife man who went berserk at another man with weapons including an axe, knife and a piece of wood following a neighbour dispute has been jailed for more than two-and-a-half years.
Michael Ednie, 31, snapped when he was confronted by another man about behaviour towards his partner earlier in the day on December 2 last year in Bowhouse Place, Methilhill.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard how Ednie accused a female neighbour of being a “grass” in relation to an environmental issue at around 1.30pm on the afternoon in question, alarming not only her but her 80-year-old father who also lived in the house.
However, when the neighbour’s partner Kevin Easton later learned about what was said and approached Ednie, the latter pulled out a penknife and repeatedly tried to stab Mr Easton with it.
Thankfully the knife was kicked away, but Ednie then went on to strike Mr Easton in the head with a wooden pole and swing an axe at him as tempers boiled over.
Appearing before Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist QC via video link from HMP Perth, Ednie admitted lunging at his victim with a knife and repeatedly trying to strike him with it; doing likewise with an axe; and also striking him on the head with a piece of wood and repeatedly attempting to strike him on the body with it on December 2, 2020, at Bowhouse Place, Methilhill.
Ednie further admitted assaulting PC Adele Mercer at Kirkcaldy Police Station by attempting to kick her, which caused her to fall backwards and strike her head on a wall to her injury, and also punching police custody officer Makeyan McKeague on the head.
Fiscal Ronnie Hay told the court how Ednie became “more and more agitated” after Mr Easton arrived at his door to challenge him about things that were said to his partner, and suddenly starting swinging his penknife “half a dozen” times at him.
Mr Easton was able to kick the knife away, and a witness was able to pick it up and put it in a food bag to be kept as evidence.
Ednie’s assault with the piece of wood left Mr Easton with only minor injuries, the fiscal added, but Ednie then challenged him to fight him in the local park.
It was soon after that Ednie appeared with an axe and swung it at his opponent twice, although mercifully both blows failed to land.
Mr Hay confirmed that police attended and arrested Ednie, although at around 11.40pm that night Ednie appeared “drowsy and difficult to rouse” in his cell.
Officers administered the drug Nalaxone to revive him, but soon afterwards he became extremely angry and upset and assaulted the two police officers in the way libelled.
Defence solicitor Martin McGuire explained how Ednie had moved into a property with a friend following the breakdown of a long-term relationship, but stressed the events of December 2 had not been the culmination of any sort of long-running dispute.
“There seems to have been a minor disagreement with a neighbour, but Mr Ednie accepts that he has lost his temper and reacted entirely disproportionately in relation to Mr Easton’s approach,” the solicitor explained.
Mr McGuire went on to say his client had consumed a significant amount of diazepam which led to him being taken to hospital that night, and suggested Ednie had overdosed on a number of occasions prior to the incident.
Mr McGuire accepted it was “more by grace than good fortune” that Mr Easton did not suffer more serious injuries, and said his client appreciated his behaviour had been “inappropriate and unwanted”.
Sheriff Gilchrist QC sentenced Ednie to serve 31 months behind bars, discounted from 42 months due to an early admission of guilt.