Man jailed over murder bid during Old Firm day brawl

The victim was left with blood 'actively pumping' out of his neck after being stabbed in city centre attack.

Man jailed over murder bid during Old Firm day brawl STV News

A man who launched a knife attack that left his victim close to death during a mass brawl after an Old Firm game has been jailed.

Kyle Beard is now facing five years behind bars for the incident that took place in Glasgow on March 31, 2019.

Medics stated that blood was “actively pumping” from the neck of Francis McCann after he was stabbed by the 27-year-old during the street fight that broke out in the Merchant City area following Celtic’s 2-1 win over Rangers.

The 48-year-old victim, who would eventually have his leg amputated as a result the incident, collapsed after being struck before he was stamped on as Beard fled the scene leaving him in a pool of blood.

A doctor remarked that he would have died from his injuries if it wasn’t for urgent medical attention.

Mr McCann was resuscitated at hospital and received 4.8 litres of blood after going into cardiac arrest.

His leg was amputated “following complications arising while he was in hospital.”

Mr McCann later told victim support that has left him “physically, mentally and emotionally” and cannot recall events.

Beard pled guilty at the High Court in Glasgow two days into his trial to attempting to murder Mr McCann.

Judge Lord Harrower told Beard at Friday’s sentencing that he and others were part of “a disgraceful public disturbance of an ongoing brawl in broad daylight.”

He added: “You appeared with a knife and struck a blow to his neck and he would have died but for the heroic intervention of paramedics and surgeons.

“As you struck this near fatal blow, you ran off down the street aware of the gravity of what you had just done. 

“For this mindless and cowardly attack there is no alternative but a substantial custodial sentence.”

Beard, who had been on remand for 528 days, will also be under supervision for a further four years upon his release from prison. 

Eight others had also been accused of attempting to murder Mr McCann.

James Quinn, 23, William Barclay, 30 and Jack Docherty, 30, were given community payback orders and tagged after pleading guilty to lesser assaults on Mr McCann.

Jamie Kinnaird, 27, and James Gemmell, 25, were jailed for ten months and nine months respectively for their reduced assaults on Mr McCann.

Andrew Quinn, 28, and Kahl Cullen, 25, had not guilty pleas accepted and instead each admitted assaults on other men that day.

Andrew Quinn was jailed for 10 months while Cullen received a community payback order and a tag.

Gemma Martin, 27, had not guilty pleas accepted for all accusations she faced.

The murder bid occurred at the junction of the city’s Albion Street and Blackfrairs Street.

The court heard that the city centre was busy after around 60,000 had attended the Old Firm derby match earlier in nearby Parkhead.

Mr McVicar stated to the court that the incidents occurred “for reasons unknown to the Crown.”

CCTV footage was played to the court.

Cullen was first spotted throwing punches before Andrew Quinn gestured to Beard.

Kinnaird repeatedly attempted to punch Mr McCann while Andrew Quinn tried to stop Jamie Quinn from joining in.

Andrew Quinn was then clocked punching another man on the head from behind before the attacker fell to the ground.

Mr McVicar added: “Beard approached Mr McCann and struck a blow with a knife or similar instrument to the neck, causing injury from which he would have died but for the intervention of emergency services.

“Mr McCann stumbled back and Beard fell to the ground having been struck by Mr McCann.

“Docherty punched Mr McCann to the face causing him to fall to the ground immediately, leaving him motionless.

“Kinnaird, who had earlier punched Mr McCann stamped on his body twice.”

A paramedic at the scene noted Mr McCann and the surrounding area was “drenched in blood.”

Blood was “actively pumping” out of the stab wound to Mr McCann’s neck.

He was rushed to hospital where medics began resuscitation and put him to sleep.

Mr McVicar said: “At some point, as surgeons attempted to repair the neck wound and stem the flow of blood, Mr McCann went into cardiac arrest, requiring further treatment.”

A doctor told police a week after Mr McCann was admitted that “he had received 4.8 litres of blood and 16 units of fresh plasma and two units of platelets.”

Mr McVicar added: “The doctor is in no doubt that he would have died after sustaining the neck injury if it wasn’t for the urgent medical care he received.

“Mr McCann’s lower left leg was amputated following complications arising while he was in hospital.

“This may be related to the insertion of a line into the femoral artery rather than the femoral vein but this may not be the appropriate forum to state a concluded view on the cause of the complications which arose as a consequence of hospital treatment necessitated by the conduct of Beard.”

Mr McCann was unable to provide a victim impact statement to the Crown as he is “unable to think of the past or future and is entirely focused on living day to day in the moment, which he finds very distressing.”

He told victim support: “I do hope that I can get some help to move forward in all areas of my life. It pains me I can’t just now for the conclusion of this criminal process but this is the situation I find myself in.”

Thomas Ross QC, defending Beard, told the sentencing that the attack was “spontaneous” and that the group had tried to flag two taxis before the incident.

He added: “Mr McCann would never have been in hospital getting surgery if it wasn’t for the actions of Mr Beard.

“It should be said that he speaks to threat to life being issued in the prison system.

“Mr Beard was attacked in July in prison and slashed on the face and during his remand he was attacked which has left him with a very deep scar on the neck which required 40 stitches.”

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