Sick Couple’s Murder-Suicide Attempt with Children Thwarted by Unexpected Knife Chaos

 Sick Couple’s Murder-Suicide Attempt with Children Thwarted by Unexpected Knife Chaos

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A man and a woman have been sentenced to a combined total of 19 years in prison for attempting to murder two children and endangering the lives of others in a reckless gas-related incident. Stacey Archibald, 33, received an eight-year prison term for three counts of attempted murder and one of culpable and reckless conduct, while her co-accused Christopher McTaggart, 42, was handed an 11-year jail sentence for the same charges.

Additionally, the court ordered both individuals to serve five-year periods of supervision in the community, during which they could be returned to prison if they violated the terms of their release. The pair’s criminal actions occurred at Archibald’s residence in Stenhousemuir, where they deliberately tampered with a live gas pipe, attaching a hose to it and directing gas into the living room.

They took measures to prevent the gas from escaping by sealing windows, vents, and a door, thereby exposing two sleeping boys to the dangerous effects of gas inhalation. Fortunately, the children managed to leave the property unharmed and seek refuge with a relative, reported The Sun.

The reckless conduct of Archibald and McTaggart not only endangered the lives of the children but also posed a risk of explosion and fire, endangering other occupants of the building and the public at large. During the incident on April 22 and 23 2022, Archibald and McTaggart also inflicted serious knife wounds on each other’s arms in an attempt to kill one another.

Despite their denial of the charges during the trial at the High Court in Edinburgh, they were ultimately found guilty of attempted murder and reckless conduct. In sentencing, Lord Weir emphasized the seriousness of the offenses committed by the defendants, particularly considering the vulnerability of the child victims and the broader danger posed to the community. He underscored that a significant custodial sentence was inevitable given the gravity of their actions.

The court learned that Archibald, although a first-time offender, struggled with mental health issues and a personality disorder. Her defense counsel highlighted her progress and urged the judge to consider her mental state at the time of the offenses. Similarly, McTaggart, with a criminal record including theft, drug possession, and breaching court orders, was described as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and assessed as a medium risk of reoffending.

The testimony of police officers who responded to the scene painted a picture of chaos and danger, with PC Andrew Inglis recalling the strong smell of gas upon arrival and the discovery of individuals with severe injuries. Ultimately, the sentencing reflects the severity of the crimes committed by Archibald and McTaggart and the court’s commitment to ensuring justice for the victims and protecting the community from further harm.

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