Man stabbed boy and attacked girl as they walked along canal footpath

Max Roberts-Dineen had been freed on bail when he attacked the two teens in Inverness last year.

Man stabbed boy and attacked girl as they walked along Caledonian Canal footpath in Inverness Google Maps

An armed attacker who wounded two teenagers at a canal footpath after he was freed on bail was warned that he faces a lengthy jail sentence.

Max Roberts-Dineen encountered the girl and boy and assaulted both victims with a knife as they made their way beside the Caledonian Canal in Inverness.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that neither of the victims knew the 35-year-old before he launched the attacks on them on August 19 last year.

A judge told Roberts-Dineen that what he did was “disgraceful” in attacking two young members of the public with a knife and inflicting serious injury on one of them.

Lord Mulholland said: “The public will need to be protected from you.”

The judge told him via a TV link to Inverness jail: “Be under no illusions you will be sentenced to a lengthy sentence of imprisonment.”

Roberts-Dineen admitted stabbing the 16-year-old boy on the body with a knife to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and to the danger of life at the footpath near to the Seaport marina in Inverness.

He also pled guilty to assaulting the 15-year-old girl by striking her on the body with the knife to her injury.

Roberts-Dineen committed the offences after he was released on bail on May 15 last year at Inverness Sheriff Court.

He also admitted that on May 12 last year at Glenurquhart Road, in Inverness, he acted in a threatening manner by following two men walking their dogs, brandishing a knife at them and threatening to stab them, when his case called in court on Thursday.

Advocate depute Brian Gill KC said that Roberts-Dineen, who is currently remanded in custody, has not previously received a prison sentence although his previous convictions include an assault.

The prosecutor said that a 999 call was made after the earlier incident and police saw Roberts-Dineen in the street. He was under the influence of alcohol and told them he had been drinking whisky. He was found to have two knives.

During the later incident the teenagers were making their way along the towpath together with the boy on his bike and the girl on foot when they became aware of Roberts-Dineen.

Mr Gill told the court: “Neither of them knew the accused.” Roberts-Dineen struck the boy with a knife leaving him bleeding heavily from his side and struck the girl on the back with the weapon.

The boy was taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and a chest drain was inserted after he was found to have suffered a collapsed lung. 

The prosecutor said he is expected to make a full recovery but has been left with a scar. The girl sustained a superficial injury.

Police found Roberts-Dineen with a bottle of alcohol and a knife in the pocket of his jeans after the attacks.

He was seen by a doctor and told him that he was diagnosed with autism, sometimes heard voices and was a heavy drinker.

Defence counsel Bill Adam said Roberts-Dineen was “deeply ashamed” of having committed the offences.

Sentence was deferred on the knife attacker until June 7 at the High Court in Aberdeen for the preparation of a background report on him and risk assessment.

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