War veteran slashed man, 59, from his chin to his ear during Bo'ness carving knife attack

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A war veteran armed himself with a carving knife and then proceeded to slice a man’s cheek – from ear to chin – and leave him permanently scarred.

Shaun O'Donohue, 41, walked off and left his 59-year-old victim with blood streaming from his cheek after the attack.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, O’Donohue had pleaded guilty to the assault to serious injury and permanent disfigurement offence he committed on June 5 last year in Bo’ness.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The court heard the victim of the assault had called a cab to take him to a local pub. When the taxi turned up, the driver noticed O'Donohue seemed to befollowing the man as he left a nearby property, and had something metal in his hand.

O'Donohue appeared at Falkirk Sheriff CourtO'Donohue appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court
O'Donohue appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court

When the man got in, the taxi driver immediately locked the doors, but O'Donohue began rapping on the window and the man asked the driverto unlock the doors again and got out, standing on the pavement facing O'Donohue.

It was stated O'Donohue was carrying "a kitchen carving knife with a six-inch blade" and said he would show the man “what he was going to do with it" and then "slashed it down his cheek in one motion".

It left a wound of four centimetres from his chin to his ear.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The taxi driver called an ambulance, while O'Donohue walked off.

Doctors at Forth Valley Royal Hospital closed the wound, but the victim was left with a scar on his left cheek, running to the corner of his mouth, and now suffers from anxiety, the court heard.

Defence solicitor Lynn Swan said the offence had serious consequences for O'Donohue.

"He was in employment at the time of this offence in June 2021, based in Edinburgh, working with vulnerable individuals. As a result of this, he lost that employment. He had worked with Apex Scotland as a service user, and then actually gained a contract with them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Regretably, as a result of this conviction for an offence of violence, he is not able to continue with that employment. He has his own personal difficulties. He is a war veteran who joined the armed forces – the RAF – on leaving school and he has completed tours of duty in Iraq.

"He left the RAF in 2008 and was diagnosed in 2018 with complex post traumatic stress order.”

She added that at the time of the offence, O'Donohue had suffered a relationship breakdown, his mental health had taken a downward spiral, "wasn't coping well" and had been consuming alcohol.

Sheriff Christopher Shead sent O'Donohue, who comes from Bo’ness, to prison for 13-and-a-half months.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “This is a grave offence, with a knife, and significant consequences. It is exactly the kind of offence the court wishes to deter by imposing sentences of imprisonment."It is particularly unfortunate that you should be standing here in the dock for this offence, in circumstances where you have served your country, and all the other things that were said on your behalf."However I regret to say I have reached the conclusion that custody is the only appropriate disposal."