A LOCHGELLY drug dealer stabbed a man during a brutal attempted murder bid in Dunfermline – just weeks after he was freed early from jail.

Leonard Taylor, 37, who left Michael Gardiner fighting for life after striking him on the neck with a knife during a confrontation outside a house in Halbeath on April 1, will return to prison with an extra seven years and 10 months to serve.

The victim went into cardiac arrest, stopped breathing and needed emergency treatment.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Taylor had been released from licence on January 25 for a drugs conviction.

He had been jailed at the High Court for 40 months in May 2017 for dealing heroin and was due to be released from that sentence in September next year.

He was released early and, despite his previous offending, Taylor attacked Mr Gardiner, 36, outside his father’s home at Fod Street, in Halbeath.

Prosecutors and police have been unable to discover the reasons for the attack. But the Court heard how medical staff rushed to save Mr Gardiner’s life.

In Court today, Lord Malcolm ordered Taylor to serve the remaining 542 days from his previous High Court sentence.

The judge then told him that once he had served the 542 days, he would have to serve seven years and 10 months for the attempted murder.

Also ordering Taylor to be supervised for the authorities for four years and two months upon his release from custody, Lord Malcolm said: “If it had not been for the prompt and professional medical care given to Mr Gardiner then it is clear to me that you would be standing here on a more serious charge.

“It is plain to see that you are a dangerous man and that special measures will have to be put in place for the safety of the public upon your release.”

The story emerged after Taylor, of Lochgelly, pleaded guilty to attempted murder at the High Court last month. Sentence had been deferred for the Court to obtain reports.

On the previous occasion, the court heard how Taylor and a friend, who has never been traced, went to Mr Gardiner’s father’s house at around 7.20pm on April 1.

Taylor stabbed Mr Gardiner on the neck with a knife and his victim then started to lose a “substantial amount of blood.”

Paramedics who attended the scene found that Mr Gardiner’s mouth was full of blood and that he had a Glasgow Coma Scale reading of three – which indicates the person is in a “deep coma”.

He stopped breathing at one point and medics fought to save his life at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. They succeeded and he was later discharged from hospital.

On Tuesday, defence solicitor advocate, Iain Paterson told the Court, that his client had a long term drug problem but accepted responsibility for his actions.

He added: “I would ask your Lordship to impose as lenient a sentence as he can in the circumstances of the offences.”