Father jailed after stabbing man over children’s bullying
A FATHER has been jailed for repeatedly stabbing a man outside a school after their children had been involved in playground “bullying”.
Stephen Savage, 38, brooded all day after his son, five, was reduced to tears by another pupil of a Glasgow primary school, a court was told. He confronted the other child’s father and “the red mist descended”. He inflicted at least 12 knife wounds on 38-year-old William Punshon.
Police had been warned of Savage’s threats to carry out the attack, but failed to prevent it.
Savage, from Broomhouse, Uddingston, was jailed for four years and six months at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday.
He admitted assaulting Mr Punshon to the danger of his life on 20 January at Caledonia Primary School, Baillieston, Glasgow. Savage dropped off his son that morning, but the boy came running back to him in tears.
The accused approached Julie Punshon and asked her to stop her son screaming in his boy’s face.
She apologised and said her son got excited and did not mean any harm. Savage then erupted into a stream of foul and abusive language, and threats. She reported the incident to the school and to the police.
That afternoon, Mr and Mrs Punshon arrived to collect their son and Savage opened the door of their car and began attacking Mr Punshon, who thought he was being punched. He managed to get out of the vehicle and saw Savage had a knife.
Savage continued to stab him in the head and body. “Mr Punshon believed he was going to die,” said the advocate-depute, Murdo MacTaggart. A hospital consultant said Mr Punshon could have died if he had not received immediate medical attention.
Defence counsel Allan Macleod said Savage had been bullied as a child and had no father figure, and became “over-protective” of his son.
“He spent the day brooding, and thinking excessively about this and getting himself more and more worked up about what others may consider a rather trivial situation,”said Mr Macleod.
“He decided he required to confront Mr and Mrs Punshon. He says the red mist descended, and knows now his behaviour was disgraceful. To this day, he still tries to reconcile why he reacted as he did.”
Lord Bracadale told Savage: “Your conduct at the school gates in the morning was bad enough and could be put down to the heat of the moment, but what you did in the afternoon was of a completely different order. Having threatened to do so, you armed yourself with a knife and assaulted Mr Punshon in a sustained attack.”
The judge said he would have jailed Savage for six years, but discounted the sentence because he had pleaded guilty.
Strathclyde Police said: “It is our job to keep people safe and this involves trying to stop crimes before they happen. Despite our efforts, in this instance we did not do that. We have met the family and have apologised.”
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