Quadriplegic Knife Victim Calls For Hard Line On Thugs

A MAN who was left paralysed from the neck down after being stabbed spoke yesterday of the devastating impact knife crime had on his life.

Scott Breslin was just 16 when he was the victim of an unprovoked attack by a group of teenagers. During the assault he was knifed in the neck, which severed his spinal cord, rendering him a quadriplegic.

Mr Breslin, now 23, who grew up in the east end of Glasgow, told a Scottish conference examining the impact of violence on victims and perpetrators details of the impact on his life.

It now takes him three hours to get up every day, he has to take 32 tablets daily and his life expectancy has been considerably shortened.

The Violence Reduction Seminar was held by the Violence Reduction Unit in Glasgow and aimed to brief delegates on how to engage and support both the victims and those who carried out the crimes.

Senior figures at the seminar included justice secretary Kenny MacAskill along with academic Susan McVie, from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research.

Mr Breslin described how he had been at a chip shop with friends when they were “ambushed” by a group of teenagers. While trying to run away he felt what was like a “punch in the neck”, which sent him tumbling to the ground, breaking his nose and smashing six of his teeth.

“I had never seen them before. I think someone was going to get it and I was just the unlucky one,” he said. “I was in hospital for nine months which was almost like a jail sentence.”

Mr Breslin, now a media and communications student, said he felt “betrayed” when he found out his attackers would be released halfway through their sentences of ten years and four-and-a-half years.

He said: “It’s totally unjust. The sentences are disgusting. It is a betrayal.”

The conference also heard from Ms McVie on the complex link between offenders and victims.

She described how somebody who is subject to a violent assault at a young age, because of social factors such as economic and family background, is much more likely to become a violent offender themselves.

At the meeting, Mr MacAskill said action was being taken to improve safety on Scotland’s streets.

He said: “Our streets are safe and those who perpetrate crime face the consequences of their actions. There is so much more to be proud of in Scotland than alcohol-fuelled violence.”

He also said additional legislation to tackle knife crime is something under consideration in the upcoming Criminal Justice Bill.