Man jailed for attempting to murder soldier in violent rage

Dylan Rigby attacked Cobhan McLelland, 18, in a two-hour ordeal using scissors, knives and boiling water at a flat in Edinburgh in March.

High Court in Edinburgh
High Court in Edinburgh

A man has been jailed after holding a soldier hostage in a flat and attempting to murder him.

Dylan Rigby pleaded guilty to attacking 18-year-old Cobhan McLelland in a two-hour ordeal with scissors, knives and boiling water at a flat in Kidlaw Close in the Gracemount area of Edinburgh.

The 20-year-old flew into a rage and assaulted McLelland after finding the squaddie in bed with his sister following a night out on March 22, a court previously heard.

Sentencing Rigby to seven years’ detention plus three years on extended licence at the High Court in Edinburgh on Thursday, Judge Lady Carmichael described the offence as a “prolonged and exceptionally violent attack on another young man”.

Heavy-set Rigby, wearing an orange jumper in the dock, showed a blank expression when told his prison sentence.

Addressing the offender, Lady Carmichael said: “You continue to pose a risk of serious harm to the public because you don’t seem to understand how serious the offence was,” adding “a substantial sentence is necessary”.

In mitigation, lawyer Richard Souter said Rigby’s psychologist report showed signs of previous trauma which could have contributed towards his aggressive outburst.

Referencing the report, Mr Souter said: “He has faced two bereavements of people close to him when Mr Rigby was a young man which led to a change in his presentation and his behaviour.”

He said Rigby’s early guilty plea and age should also be taken into account, adding: “He’s a young man and wants to turn things around.”

The court heard police officers had to hold Rigby at gun point in order to put an end to the lengthy brutal attack.

Mr McLelland was rushed to hospital with a fractured nose and wrist, a deep cut to his forehead, as well as cuts and burns to his shoulder, arm and back, before being discharged around a week later.

Lady Carmichael told the court some of Mr Souter’s mitigating factors were “irrelevant” given Rigby’s “extremely violent conduct”, and pointed to his previous record of violent offending.

She said the offences committed would normally lead to 10 years behind bars but taking his guilty plea and age into account, she discounted it to a seven-year determinate prison sentence backdated to March 22 2021.

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