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Tourist stabbed friend after meeting at Exeter bus station, court hears

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: May 12, 2014

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McGeough, aged 41, of Grafton Place, Glasgow, denies attempted murder of 38-year-old Stephen Donnelly and an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

A Scottish tourist has denied trying to kill a fellow countryman in a drunken rage after he missed his bus home to Glasgow.

William McGeough went drinking with William Donnelly after they met up at Exeter bus station and allegedly stabbed him in a row about his mobile phone.

Fellow Glaswegian Mr Donnelly had offered to find McGeough a place to stay after he missed the late bus and the two men then spent the night drinking vodka and cider.

The violence started when Mr Donnelly borrowed McGeough’s mobile phone to call a taxi and went outside to get a better signal, Exeter Crown Court was told.

McGeough accused him of trying to steal the phone and allegedly stabbed him ten times in the face, back and side with a lock knife he carried in his pocket.

The victim suffered a punctured lung, a damaged kidney and a cut through his cheek so deep that police could see his teeth through it when they arrived at the scene.

McGeough, aged 41, of Grafton Place, Glasgow, denies attempted murder of 38-year-old Stephen Donnelly and an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Mr Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said the victim is a 39-year-old man from Glasgow who was living in a hostel in Exeter and who had gone to Exeter bus station to meet a friend called Kelly Munday on the afternoon of January 6.

McGeough was at the bus station to catch a coach home to Glasgow and although the two men were strangers they started talking because they both came from Scotland.

Mr Crabb said McGeough missed his bus and had nowhere to stay so all three went back to Miss Munday’s home in Newport Road, Exeter, where they spent the night drinking.

He said shortly before midnight Mr Donnelly borrowed McGeough’s mobile phone to call for a taxi but misdialed the number and then went outside to get a better signal.

As he opened the front door of the house Miss Munday’s dog followed him out and he ran off into the street to fetch the animal.

Mr Crabb said:”The next thing he knew McGeough came out of the property and was attacking him from behind and accusing him of trying to steal his phone.

“Mr Donnelly threw the phone to the ground and the back came off and this seems to have enraged McGeough even more. He had a knife and stabbed him in the back and face and also punched him repeatedly in the face.”

The victim staggered away and collapsed and McGeough followed him but then returned to the flat where he was arrested later and told police ‘the bastard tried to mug me’.

A neighbour heard the Scottish accents and called the police after seeing Mr Donnelly collapsed on the pavement. He had ten stab wounds, and fractures to his jaw, cheek and eye socket.

Mr Crabb said:”Whether or not this started because in his drunken state McGeough thought Mr Donnelly had stolen his phone may not matter.

“Our case was this was a repeated stabbing in the face and side in a frenzied and potentially lethal attack which caused serious injuries. We say his intention was to kill.”

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