A Lanarkshire thug who stabbed his wife of 40 years after warning her, “you’re dying tonight”, has avoided jail time.
Peter McDowell, of Airdrie, twice lunged at spouse Mary’s neck with a steak knife, but missed each time.
She suffered cuts to her fingers as she tried to defend herself.
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McDowell, 62, admitted assaulting his wife at their home on August 12, 2020.
The couple have three children and are also grandparents and on the night of the stabbing they were celebrating their birthdays with a friend who had brought them gifts.
Airdrie Sheriff Court heard how violence flared out of the blue after the friend left the couple’s home around 1.15am.
Lauren Cole, prosecuting, said: “Without warning the accused stood up and said ‘I’m going to stab you’ to his wife.
“He went into the kitchen and returned with a steak knife.
“Mrs McDowell, who was sitting on the couch, believed he was joking and told him to ‘f*** off’.
“He replied, ‘you’re dying tonight. I’m going to cut your fingers and your throat’.
“He lashed out with the knife, aiming for the left side of her neck but missing and striking the couch.
“He then tried to strike the right side of her neck and again missed, puncturing the couch.”
McDowell placed the blade against his wife’s neck and said ‘How easy it would be to slit your throat’.
Mrs McDowell put up her left hand to defend herself and the accused slashed her fingers with the knife.
The prosecutor added: “This caused superficial injuries. She then kicked him twice in the groin and ran to a neighbour’s house.
“The neighbor contacted the police and officers arrived to find McDowell seated on the couch with the knife next to him.”
McDowell was arrested but was then taken to hospital, complaining of chest pains. Doctors later gave him the all-clear.
Defense agent Tony Linden said McDowell underwent heart surgery two months before the stabbing.
The solicitor explained: “He was on medication and compounded the situation by drinking alcohol.
“Much of what happened is a blur to him. It was entirely out of character.”
Sheriff Petra Collins told McDowell she was prepared to impose a community payback order as an alternative to prison.
He will be under social work supervision for 18 months.
McDowell was also handed an 18-month non-harassment order.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.