Court hears how baby-faced Dundee teen stabbed two men in unprovoked attacks

The High Court at Edinburgh.
The High Court at Edinburgh.
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TWO men were stabbed in unprovoked attacks by a baby-faced teenager they had thought was just a young boy, a court has heard.

One of the victims required emergency surgery for life-threatening injuries caused by Alec Hutchison, 16, on a Sunday night in Dundee city centre.

Hutchison, looking barely beyond primary school age, was dwarfed by security guards in the dock of the High Court in Edinburgh as he pleaded guilty to the two assaults. He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced next month.

The court heard Neil Butchart, 30, and Marc Ritchie, 32, were in a group of friends on a night out on 19 August. Neither knew Hutchison, who had celebrated his birthday the previous day.

Mr Butchart and his girlfriend walked past a crowded ground floor flat in Ogilvie Street where loud noise and music was coming out an open window. He then found himself surrounded by about six youngsters, who all appeared under 16 and had come out of the flat. A girl accused him of looking in her window.

“He was not aware of having been assaulted but recalls the group leaving him quickly and his girlfriend screaming. He noticed his shirt was bloodstained,” said the advocate-depute, Richard Goddard.

“The accused was standing nearby, in possession of a knife with a blade estimated as seven inches. He appeared to make no effort to hide the weapon and held it openly. He remarked, ‘That will teach you for giving us dirty looks.’ An ambulance was called. Mr Butchart had two stab wounds to the left flank. While his wounds have healed well, he is left with scarring.”

Mr Ritchie came upon the disturbance. He saw Hutchison, whom he thought was a young boy, run towards him and “punch” him in the stomach. The youth said: “That’s what happens when you f*** with me, you get stabbed.”

Mr Ritchie lifted his top and noticed a wound on the right of his abdomen which was bleeding heavily. He carried on walking but became weak, and sat on a wall. He recalled little beyond being helped into an ambulance.

“Fortunately, a member of the public had found Mr Ritchie and had attracted the attention of the driver of the ambulance which had been called for Mr Butchart. His blood pressure was half of what it ought to be. The ambulance crew suspected heavy internal bleeding and had serious concerns for his health,” added Mr Goddard.

At hospital, surgeons discovered the wound had caused four holes in the small bowel and they regarded it as life-threatening. He suffered a hernia as a consequence of the injury and needed further surgery. His job involved heavy lifting and he had been unable yet to return to work.

Mr Goddard said Hutchison attended a police station next day, saying he was aware officers were looking for him but “I dinnae ken what for.”

Inquiries revealed he had admitted his involvement to a friend the same night while in a “shaky” condition. He said he had “stabbed some guy and don’t know what to do.”