A THUG is behind bars after brutally stabbing a man who had gone to police about his gangster father-in-law.

Christopher Kavanagh pounced on Robert Forbes in Paisley town centre in August 2017.

The 29-year-old is the son-in-law of jailed underworld figure Robert Pickett, who was one of six crooks locked up for a total of 104 years in May for his role in a savage gangland murder plot.

A judge heard today how Mr Forbes was targeted after alerting police he had “information” on 54-year-old Pickett.

Kavanagh has now joined his relative behind bars after he admitted assaulting Mr Forbes to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of his life.

He had originally faced an attempted murder allegation.

Pickett, who is currently serving a 16-year sentence, had also been accused of trying to kill Mr Forbes but had his not guilty plea accepted.

Kavanagh will be sentenced later this month.

The High Court in Glasgow heard there had been “ill feeling” between Mr Forbes and Pickett.

Prosecutor Paul Kearney said: “Not long before the attack, Robert Forbes contacted police to advise he had information to give them regarding the father-in-law of Kavanagh.”

Kavanagh, from Paisley, struck on August 17, 2017, after the victim got out of his van in the town's Causeyside Street.

The thug had been sitting in his Mercedes 4x4 nearby.

Mr Kearney told the court: “Around this time, the former co-accused (Pickett) arrived in his vehicle and was observed to cross the road.

“This was in the general direction of Mr Forbes, who appeared to take fright and ran.”

Mr Forbes ended up falling before Kavanagh stabbed him three times on the face, body and hand in a “swift attack” that lasted just seconds.

Members of the public in the busy street raced to help the blood-drenched victim, who was heard to say: “They have got me. They found me.”

Mr Forbes later needed 17 stitches for a facial wound which left him scarred for life.

He also suffered injuries to his stomach and hand.

Kavanagh, who initially fled the scene, was traced through the Mercedes he had driven that day.

He made no comment when later quizzed by police.

Kavanagh had been on bail but judge Lord Clark remanded him in custody following his guilty plea.

Pickett was said to be part of the Lyons crime clan who targeted associates of the rival Daniel mob.

Kavanagh's name was mentioned during evidence in the 14-week trial.

He was known to supergrass Alistair McMillan, who had been an associate of ex-taxi firm boss Steven 'Bonzo' Daniel.

Daniel suffered grotesque facial wounds after later being ambushed by the Lyons crew.

McMillan met Pickett through Kavanagh.

The ex-footballer told jurors he was offered £50,000 to help in the “murder” of Daniel following a secret meeting in a garden with three men.

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