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Jury hears of stabbing on fishing boat at Scrabster

By Gordon Calder

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THE chief mate on a Spanish fishing boat which was berthed at Scrabster was stabbed by his skipper after they had been out drinking, a jury trial heard today.

Adolfo Pego-Brion (46) denies repeatedly stabbing Marcial Antonio Torres on the body to his severe injury and danger of his life.

The incident is alleged to have happened in the wheelhouse of the Brisca on August 20, 2018. Pego-Brion lodged a special defence of self-defence and claims Mr Torres lay in wait for him and attacked him after an argument.

The Brisca at Scrabster harbour in the aftermath of the alleged stabbing. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios
The Brisca at Scrabster harbour in the aftermath of the alleged stabbing. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios

Giving evidence to the jury of 10 women and five men at Wick Sheriff Court this afternoon, Mr Torres said he had been drinking with the skipper and another fisherman in Scrabster and Thurso before returning to the boat at about midnight.

The 47-year-old chief mate said he and Pego-Brion had a row and the skipper said he was going to sack him. Mr Torres threatened to hit him but claimed the skipper said he was going to get a knife.

"He got it and stabbed me three times on the body. I was hit on the left shoulder and when I went to turn away he hit me on the right side of my back and wanted to kill me. I left the bridge and got on to the shore. I don't remember anything else," he told the court through an interpreter.

Mr Torres, who felt unwell at one point during the proceedings and had to have a five-minute break, spent three days in hospital and has been off work ever since. He has been told he is not yet able to go back to work.

Asked by fiscal David Barclay if he was aware the skipper received injuries during the incident, Mr Torres replied: "It is the first time I have heard about that."

Defence solicitor Fiona MacDonald suggested the witness had caused trouble in two bars that evening and had been abusive to his skipper. He was asked to leave a bar in Thurso and put in a taxi back to his boat.

Miss MacDonald said her client phoned his bosses and the harbour authorities to say the chief mate was being sacked and went back to the boat.

According to the defence, Mr Torres was lying in wait for him in the wheelhouse in darkness. The solicitor said the chief mate grabbed the skipper by the neck and during the struggle a knife from the top of a window fell on the floor.

"You went for the knife and Adolfo tried to stop you. You tried to repeatedly plunge the knife towards Adolfo's abdomen," she said.

The witness replied: "I never had the knife in my hand. I got stabbed. I never stabbed anyone."

Miss MacDonald suggested Mr Torres may have injured himself in the struggle and claimed two others intervened to try and stop the attack.

The trial, before Sheriff Andrew Berry, is due to finish on Friday.

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