Drug-fuelled knife attacker jailed for stabbing

David Rodgers was jailed for more than eight years.
David Rodgers was jailed for more than eight years.

A drug-fuelled knife attacker who tried to murder a festival-goer was jailed for more than eight years today.

David Rodgers was seen armed with a knife and clutching an orange wig his victim had intended to wear to the musical festival Bute Fest following the stabbing of Jordan Junner.

A judge told Rodgers (42): “The wound which you inflicted penetrated your victim’s heart and but for the swift medical intervention which, fortuitously, was available, he would undoubtedly have died.”

Lord Armstrong said at the High Court in Edinburgh: “When you committed this attack you were under the influence of cocaine and valium.”

The judge said that he noted that Rodgers’ adult life had been shaped to “a significant extent by illicit drug use.”

He said: “The crime to which you have pleaded guilty is a grave one, involving as it did, an assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of life, with murderous intent.”

The judge told Rodgers, formerly of Montague Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, that he would be jailed for eight years and eight months.

Rodgers had earlier admitted attempting to murder Mr Junner in the attack at Hillhouse Road, in Rothesay, on July 31 last year.

The victim was taken to hospital in Rothesay and found to have blood around the heart. He was then flown by helicopter to the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank where he was taken directly to an operating theatre.

The court that by good fortune a bypass machine and staff were on standby for another patient whose operation could be delayed.

A bypass was established with Mr Junner while surgeons sutured his injury before closing his chest.

The victim, who was 22 at the time, had been working as an apprentice welder but as a result of the injury he sustained was unable to complete his apprenticeship.

Mr Junner was one of a large group of young people who were socialising together on the weekend of the Bute Fest. He had been out drinking with friends on the day before the attack before going to Rodgers’ home anticipating a party but found they were not welcome.

Rodgers got into an argument with Mr Junner and they began fighting but were separated by others.

Later one of Mr Junner’s friends received text messages from Rodgers in which he said: “You have disrespected my house once too many so don’t bother coming near my door again.”

Mr Junner was aware of what his friend had said in a subsequent phone call with Rodgers and decided to leave the house he was in to avoid further trouble.

He was walking down Hillhouse Road wearing the wig he intended to sport at the festival when he met Rodgers and after a brief exchange of words the attacker stabbed him in the chest with a eight inch kitchen knife.

The victim looked down and saw blood pouring from his chest and was then seen running down the hill shouting: “He’s stabbed me. He’s stabbed me.”

Police later detained Rodgers near a ferry terminal. The orange wig work by the victim was found during a search of Rodgers home.

Defence counsel Greg Farrell told the court that Rodgers previous convictions, which included assault and knife possession, was “largely as a result of a lifetime of drug abuse”.

“He had been under the influence of drugs the night before and on the day in question he was under the influence of valium,” he said.

“He took the valium and he took the knife out and the consequences were catastrophic for the victim,” he said.

Mr Farrell said that Rodgers intended to participate in prison courses on drug misuse and violence reduction.