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Man jailed after attack over Cocker

A man was jailed for 45 months last after a row over a missing cocker spaniel erupted into a knife attack on the dog's owner.

Ryan Rees of Ander son Place, Hawick, was originally charged with attempted murder on 2 January 2007 at Yarrowford in the Scottish Borders. A guilty plea to assault to the danger of life was accepted at the High Court in Edinburgh where Rees was sentenced.

Judge Lord Bracadale said the attacker had been assessed as posing a high risk of reoffending.
"You pled guilty to a serious assault against a background of what was, on any view, a pretty minor matter between Mr Smith and your father. You travelled from Selkirk to Yarrowford, armed yourself with a knife and went and attacked a man in his own house, which has always been regarded as a particularly aggravated form of assault in Scotland."

Lord Bracadale then added that heunderstood that Rees had previously shown remorse and now seemed to have realised he had problems which he was prepared to address. He told him that he would have been jailed for five years but for his guilty plea.

The court had previously heard that Mr Smith had become involved in a dispute with Rees' father about two months prior to the assault, when Smith had returned home one day to find his partner out looking for their cocker spaniel. He eventually found it with Mr Rees senior and was irritated he had not tried to return it.

The pair did not speak for some time before an "alcohol-fuelled verbal altercation" at a New Year party in the village hall.

The court was told that when Ryan Rees heard about this incident he set off to Mr Smith's house in Yarrowford and attacked him with a kitchen knife. Mr Smith eventually managed to close the door on him - but not before suffering injuries to his tongue, arm and shoulder.