Thug tells victim: ‘Give me all your money or I’ll stab you in the eye’

Stirling Sheriff Court
Stirling Sheriff Court

A terrified kidnap victim leapt from a moving car to escape the screwdriver-wielding thug who threatened to stab him in the eye and the throat.

James Horne (24) was lucky to live to tell of his horrific experience in the hands of violent Garry Kelly (26).

After washing down some Valium with a full bottle of Buckfast, Kelly approached Mr Horne, who was a complete stranger to him, in Larbert and asked him if he would buy more alcohol for him “because he had no ID”.

Mr Horne agreed and went into a shop and made the purchases, but when he came out Kelly, who was in the area after visiting a patient in the mental health ward of a nearby hospital, said he had no money, and offered Mr Horne £20 to drive him home to Clackmannanshire to get some.

Stirling Sheriff Court heard today that Kelly, from Alva, directed Mr Horne to Alva, Clackmannanshire, and told him to drive down a one-way street.

Mr Horne at first refused, but then “somewhat reluctantly” agreed.

Halfway down the street Kelly told him to stop, pulled out the screwdriver, which he found in the passenger door compartment, and told Mr Horne, “Give me all your money or I’ll stab you in the eye”.

Sarah Lumsden, prosecuting, said Mr Horne was “very fearful” that if he left his car he would be seriously assaulted, so he handed over his wallet, which was empty.

Kelly then told Mr Horne to drive to a cash machine, warning him, “stick with the programme or you’ll get hurt,” and “if we see the police and you try to stop them you’ll get stabbed in the throat”.

Miss Lumsden said when they got to the cash machine, Mr Horne’s account was overdrawn, and he could not get any money, so Kelly ordered him to hand over his iPhone and drive to Cash Converters in Stirling.

Halfway there he changed his mind and ordered him to drive to a shop in Clackmannan where a man was reputed to buy phones, but he wasn’t in.

They walked back to the car and Kelly said he had “scalpels” on him, and ordered Mr Horne to drive around while he directed.

Miss Lumsden said: “The drive led to a secluded woodland park, and as Mr Horne turned up the track he was incredibly frightened and thought that Kelly would kill him.”

The depute fiscal said Mr Horne then decided to escape.

She said: “He did a U-turn, took off his seat belt, accelerated to about 40 miles an hour, opened his door, and jumped out of the moving car, rolling as he hit the ground.”

The vehicle carried on and ended up in a ditch, while Mr Horne ran back down the track and saw two dog walkers. They directed him to a house where he knocked on the door.

Miss Lumsden said: “The householder found him extremely distressed, took him in, and phoned the police.”

A full-scale search with police dogs was launched and Kelly was found hiding behind a wall.

Mr Horne suffered “numerous scrapes” to his arms, hands and knees as a result of jumping from the moving vehicle.

Kelly pled guilty to the assault, robbery, and abduction he committed on April 13.

Claire McCarron, defending, said Kelly was “upset” after visiting the patient in the Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, and on leaving the infirmary he had drunk “a bottle of Buckfast and taken a significant amount of Valium”.

Miss McCarron said: “He was without finance and has resorted to the use of violence as he does whenever he finds he wants something.”

She said there was “no doubt” that Kelly, who has spent much of his adult life in custody, continued to present a high risk of re-offending and a danger to the public.

Sheriff William Gilchrist jailed Kelly for four years and imposed a further two years extended sentence, during which time Kelly will be automatically returned to jail if he re-offends.

Sheriff Gilchrist told him: “This was obviously a very serious charge. The victim was so terrified that he jumped out of a moving car. You have a record which, given that you’re 27, is quite extraordinary – eight cases on indictment, and a longest previous sentence of three years.

“A custodial sentence is inevitable.”

Kelly showed no emotion as he was led to the cells.