A crack cocaine addict who tried to murder a man in a brutal knife attack at a north-east play park has been jailed for eight years.
Aaron Dines, known as Morrison, wounded his victim five times, including inflicting three injuries to his abdomen in the assault.
Morrison, 41, left his victim 32-year-old Martin Noble permanently scarred after the attack at Bruar Court, Fraserburgh, in Aberdeenshire.
When police arrested him following the attempted murder he told officers: “It was me getting stabbed.”
Morrison, a former tyre fitter, of Ash-Hill Place, Aberdeen, denied committing the murder bid on his victim on November 29 in 2018, but was convicted of the crime following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
He was found guilty of repeatedly striking him on the body with a knife to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life and attempting to murder him.
He lodged a special defence of self-defence but told jurors: “I have never used knives in my life. I didn’t stab Martin Noble. I was petrified for my life.”
The trial judge, Lord Beckett, said that although Morrison did not have a previous conviction of comparable gravity he did have one for possession of an offensive weapon and seven for assault.
The judge said he had to impose a sentence which sought to deter Morrison and others from carrying knives in public.
Police and ambulance personnel found the wounded victim bleeding heavily outside a Co-op in the Aberdeenshire town following the stabbing.
An acquaintance of the victim, Derek Kewley, said he had met up with him and his girlfriend and had gone to the park hoping to buy drugs.
He said they met Morrison and another man but an argument broke out over money. Morrison pulled out a knife and a struggle broke out between him and Mr Noble.
Morrison lunged at his victim who shouted “I have been stabbed.”
Morrison told his trial that at the time of the offence he was living in Fraserburgh and was addicted to crack cocaine.
He was in receipt of benefits but was also “hand tapping” – soliciting change from members of the public – to fund his drug habit.
He accepted that he was due Mr Noble money and that he had eight or nine smokes of crack cocaine before the confrontation at the play park.
Defence counsel David Moggach said that Morrison was currently unemployed and suffered from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
He said: “He advises his childhood wasn’t a pleasant one. He first experimented with drugs at the age of 13.”