Fallout from friends’ debt led to double stabbing in Highland village, Inverness lawsuit says

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The trial is taking place at Inverness Sheriff Court.

An argument between friends over a £ 1,000 debt led to a double stabbing in a Highland fishing village last summer, a court heard.

Dylan Thorpe, now 19, and Dylan McWhinney, 25, first met at homeless accommodation on Kenneth Street in Inverness.

They became good friends and when Thorpe asked for a loan from his namesake, it was handed over without any arrangement for repayment.

But an Inverness Sheriff Court jury heard that when the couple met by chance near the Argyll Hotel in Ullapool on the night of July 31, 2020, the date went sour after a chase through the village.

The court heard that Thorpe, of Strathpeffer, had two knives and stabbed his ex-boyfriend and his friend, 26-year-old local fisherman Jordan Megbaghandu.

Dylan McWhinney, whose subsequent death unrelated to this incident was reported to the jury, ended up in the high addiction unit at Raigmore Hospital with a punctured lung after bleeding into his chest cavity. He also suffered a stab wound to his left arm which required stitches.

He was released on August 3.

Mr. Megbaghandu was stabbed in the right arm, also requiring stitches. He told the court he was away from work for months and had a scar.

Thorpe denies assaulting Mr McWhinney risking his life and assaulting Mr Megbaghandu in Mill Street, Ullapool between July 31 and August 1, 2020 until his permanent disfigurement.

Thorpe also denies owning a knife without a reasonable excuse.

Thorpe filed a special defense of self-defense, claiming that he had been pursued and attacked by both men.

Mr Megbaghandu was first questioned by Tax MP Alex Swain and then cross-examined by defense lawyer Graham Mann.

The witness confirmed that he and Mr. McWhinney chased Thorpe and that he had caught him and did not want to let go.

He said Thorpe pulled out a small penknife. “He tried to stab me in the chest but grabbed the fabric of my T-shirt. I held his arm with the first knife, but then he pulled out a second knife, with a six inch blade and m stabbed in the elbow.

“I told Dylan he had a knife but he didn’t pay attention.”

He denied wanting to hurt Thorpe, saying he wanted the two to talk to each other after falling out in the pub earlier.

He told Mr Mann: “The debt had nothing to do with me. It was not my problem. But I had known Dylan McWhinney for a long time. We were like brothers and what bothered me bothered me.

“I shouldn’t have caught Dylan Thorpe. Sometimes we make stupid decisions.”

Mr Megbaghandu said he “feels responsible” for what happened to his best friend, but denied that he “executed” the debt on his behalf. “It’s not what I do.”

He also denied a suggestion by Mr Mann that he and / or Mr McWhinney had a knife, but admitted that Thorpe must have been scared and that he and Mr McWhinney attacked Thorpe first.

He added, “I was trying to talk to him. I didn’t pull out a knife.”

Mr. McWhinney’s hospital bed statement given to a police officer was read in court by retired Detective Constable Andrew Thomas. He told a similar story to Mr. Meggaghnadu. Mr McWhinney explained that Thorpe had moved away from him, pretending to be confused and not knowing about a debt.

Mr Megbaghandu was first questioned by Tax MP Alex Swain and then cross-examined by defense lawyer Graham Mann.

The witness confirmed that he and Mr. McWhinney chased Thorpe and that he had caught him and did not want to let go.

He said Thorpe pulled out a small penknife. “He tried to stab me in the chest but he grabbed the fabric of my T-shirt. I held his arm with the first knife, but then he pulled out a second knife, with a six inch blade and m stabbed in the elbow.

“I told Dylan he had a knife but he didn’t pay attention.”

He denied wanting to hurt Thorpe, saying he wanted the two to talk to each other after falling out in the pub earlier.

He told Mr Mann: “The debt had nothing to do with me. It was not my problem. But I had known Dylan McWhinney for a long time. We were like brothers and what bothered me bothered me.

“I shouldn’t have caught Dylan Thorpe. Sometimes we make stupid decisions.”

Mr Megbaghandu said he “feels responsible” for what happened to his best friend, but denied that he “executed” the debt on his behalf. “It’s not what I do.”

He also denied a suggestion by Mr Mann that he and / or Mr McWhinney had a knife, but admitted that Thorpe must have been scared and that he and Mr McWhinney attacked Thorpe first.

He added, “I was trying to talk to him. I didn’t pull out a knife.”

Mr. McWhinney’s hospital bed statement given to a police officer was read in court by retired Detective Constable Andrew Thomas. He told a similar story to Mr. Meggaghnadu. Mr McWhinney explained that Thorpe walked away from him, pretending to be confused and not knowing about a debt.

The trial continues.


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