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Man denies Brae stabbing charge

THE TRIAL of a 23 year old man accused of stabbing another man to the danger of his life at Brae Hotel early last year got underway at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Monday.

Sydney Peter James Johnson, of Clothister, Sullom, denies brandishing a knife or similar instrument, wrestling with, punching and stabbing the man to his severe injury on 20 January 2014.

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In addition, he denies possessing a metal pipe and a knife without reasonable excuse in a public place.

Johnson also denies attempting to defeat the ends of justice by disposing of the pipe and knife, and placing his jacket and hat in a bag belonging to another person in order to conceal his guilt.

Technological gremlins meant the jury trial did not get underway until Monday afternoon.

Procurator fiscal depute Saima Rasheed then called the first witness, police constable Graeme Johnston, who interviewed Johnson a day after the incident took place.

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The officer told the court that Johnson had claimed to be trying to help a young woman who had just ended a long-term relationship with the victim of the assault.

He told police the victim had sent him threatening messages, including one stating: “I’m going to put you in a hearse.”

An altercation took place after the victim dragged the young woman out of the Northern Lights bar at Brae Hotel and slashed her face, Johnson had told the police.

He and his friends had been playing pool inside. Under questioning he told police officers that he had punched the victim, but had not stabbed him: “I had no knife to stab him with.”

It had been put to Johnson that CCTV footage showed him taking a knife out of his back pocket and showing it to two friends. But he told police the only time he had carried a knife was when he used to work on a fishing boat.

The jury trial is due to resume at 10am on Tuesday.

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