Ambulance ‘took too long’ to reach stab victim, court hears
A STABBING victim bled to death while an ambulance took 40 minutes to reach the scene, a court has heard.
David Brown, 41, had been struck on the shoulder with a knife during a fight with his future father-in-law, Paul McCann, 57, and an artery was cut.
• Court hears that ambulance took 40 minutes to arrive to the aid of stabbing victim, who later died
• Another ambulance had been minutes away from incident but was not operational
• Paul McCann, 57, jailed for culpable homicide last year for stabbing future son-in-law David Brown, 41
A local ambulance could have attended within a few minutes but it was off the road, and paramedics had to travel from miles away.
“A 40-minute delay with a major blood vessel severed was too long. One can say with some degree of certainty that if the local ambulance had been on call, it may well be the deceased would have survived,” the defence QC, Donald Findlay, told the High Court in Edinburgh.
McCann, of Minnigaff, near Newton Stewart, Dumfries and Galloway, was jailed for six years and six months after admitting the culpable homicide of Mr Brown on 15 October last year. He had been accused of murder initially, but his plea to the lesser offence was accepted by the Crown.
Mr Brown, a barman, was engaged to McCann’s daughter and the couple, who had a son, three, were due to marry next month.
On the night of the incident, family and friends had been socialising at McCann’s home, but an argument broke out between the two men when Mr Brown made a remark to his fiancee which caused her to cry. The row developed into a fight, and punches were traded before McCann picked up a knife and struck out, catching Mr Brown on the front of the left shoulder and “nicking” the axillary artery.
Following a number of 999 calls from the house minutes after midnight, it was 12:43am before an ambulance arrived. Mr Brown had remained conscious for about 20 minutes after the stabbing, but attempts by paramedics failed to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead.
Mr Findlay told the judge, Lord Bannatyne, that McCann had “no criminal record worthy of the name” and that he had served in the army for 14 years until receiving an exemplary discharge in 1985. He had two tours of duty in Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles.
McCann had no clear recollection of the incident.
“It would appear he was getting the worse of the fight and he picked up a knife and struck him once in the arm/shoulder area. The consequence was a major vessel was severed and, unfortunately, the deceased bled to death,” said Mr Findlay.
“His remorse, shame and regret over the whole episode are genuine. He has much contrition for the death of his son-in-law and the damage this has occasioned his family, particularly his daughter.
“One of the tragic consequences is the fact it took 40 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. I am not criticising anyone but there were two ambulances in the general area and one was based five minutes or so from the incident. That was off the road for whatever reeason, and the other ambulance came from Stranraer and collected the doctor en route.”
Lord Bannatyne said he could not ignore that a life had been lost and a deadly weapon had been used on an unarmed man.
“I also take into account the clearly devastating effects this has had on the family of the deceased and, given his relationship to you, on your own family,” added the judge.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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