Thug jailed for stabbing man at problematic Paisley homeless unit

My Motel in Blackhall Street, Paisley
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Neil)

A man has been jailed after stabbing a resident of a Paisley homeless unit in the thigh after he made comments about his girlfriend.

Edward McDowall stabbed Robert Wright in the thigh on December 9 last year at My Motel in the town’s Blackhall Street.

McDowall claimed Wright had been “bullying” him and making remarks about his brother and girlfriend.

The 37-year-old admitted he had taken a cocktail of drugs and booze when he assaulted Wright to his “severe injury” while subject to four court orders.

Procurator fiscal depute Michael Cunningham told Paisley Sheriff Court: “Around 5.15pm, Robert Wright was speaking with a witness in the first floor corridor. They were then joined by three other witnesses.

“At this time, the accused exited his room and lunged towards Wright with a knife stabbing his inner thigh over a dispute regarding his ex-partner and comments that were made. The accused then returned to his room.

“Wright was handed a towel to treat the blood pouring from his leg and made his way to reception to ask them to call for an ambulance. A 999 call was made.

“Around 5.21pm the accused left his room and left the motel and never returned. Police attended at the homeless accommodation and observed the stabbing wound on the victim.

“Verbals were given to police that the accused had stabbed Wright. Officers noted a bloodtrail from the hallway into a bedroom and entered the accused’s room.

“CCTV that captured the incident was viewed by officers and Wright was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital for treatment and he required five stitches to his thigh. It was noted there was no threat to life.

“Wright was discharged and he chose to stay at another address. The accused didn’t return to the motel and his key card was deactivated.”

Defence agent Robert Mitchell told the court: “His schedule of previous offences doesn’t do him any favours but there’s been no violence since 2006, however, in March 2023, he was convicted of possession of a knife. He understands the options are limited.

“My explanation, and it is only that, is the motel is a homeless accommodation and drugs are rife in the motel. He had taken drink and drugs with others. The complainer is a much bigger man and he himself is not a stranger to the court or prisons.

“My client claims the complainer was also bullying him, making references about his brother who is in Carstairs then this escalated when comments turned to his girlfriend.

“He bitterly regrets it and understands he’s going back to custody as a result.”

Sentencing, Sheriff Gillian Craig said: “This was quite the incident on December 9 last year.

“I take into account drugs played a part in this, I take into account you may have thought you were being chivalrous protecting your girlfriend and I take into account you were at the end of your tether being subject to bullying, however, violence is never the answer.

“You stabbed this man in the thigh where there was significant blood loss which required five stitches. Nothing short of a custodial sentence will do.”

McDowall, described as a prisoner of Low Moss jail, East Dunbartonshire, was jailed for nine months backdated to January 29 when he was remanded.

Earlier this month, the Paisley Daily Express revealed My Motel had been slammed for its “blatant drug use and anti-social behaviour”.

The facility had been lambasted by those living nearby for what they described as a complete failure to manage the behaviour of its residents.

A concerned local, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed police are called out to the facility at least every day and – on some occasions – multiple times during sunnier weekend days.

It is claimed that residents are “abusing” the roof over their heads and their anti-social behaviour is becoming “threatening” to those living nearby.

The woman claims: “They are drinking, smoking, smashing glass, swearing and making abusive comments to people, particularly women and kids when they go past. It’s unpleasant and threatening.

“The police are never away from the place either. They are there every night at least and on the sunnier weekend days, I have seen them there two or three times in one night.

“I’ve seen men carried out on stretchers, men lying on the ground covered in blood, all sorts. It’s a jungle in there.”

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