Youth knifed teenager in the neck

A YOUTH who knifed a teenager through his neck, paralysing a vocal chord, had been a 'time bomb waiting to explode', a judge said as she sentenced him

A YOUTH who knifed a teenager through his neck, paralysing a vocal chord, had been a 'time bomb waiting to explode', a judge said as she sentenced him for three-and-a-half years.The 15-year-old defendant had been suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome when he plunged a steak knife into his victim's neck.A week earlier, the troubled boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had told professionals caring for him he wanted to stab someone. However, despite a doctor's report recommending his urgent removal to secure accommodation just days before the attack, nothing was done.The defendant admitted a charge of wounding with intent and asked for a further charge of assault, an attack on a youth at the Sovereign Shopping Centre in Weston, to be taken into consideration when he appeared at Bristol Crown Court.He was sentenced to a young offenders institution and will receive care for his condition.Martin Lanchester, prosecuting, said the defendant was under the supervision of the Youth Offending Team in Weston on March 6 when a police officer became concerned after the boy told him he wanted to stab someone and would go to school with a knife.He said the officer was telephoned the next day after the defendant claimed he was going to stab someone with a meat cleaver.Telling how threats were carried out just nine days later on Brighton Road Bridge in Weston, Mr Lanchester said the teenager's 16-year-old victim had been walking with friends when he was stopped.He said: "The victim's recollection is he went to put his drink down on the ground and felt a hard blow to his neck. He thought it was a joke and turned to laugh when he saw the defendant running down the road."He put his hand to his neck and saw blood."He said the defendant then stopped a girl and used her phone to call the police to confess before asking her to go with him to the police station.Mr Lanchester said: "In interview he said he took a steak knife from the family kitchen and he had been carrying knives for years and thought he may have a mental illness."The victim was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary and the stabbing, which had paralysed his right vocal chord, left him with 'significant difficulties'.A week before the stabbing it was heard that the authorities were looking for secure accommodation for the defendant.Mark Worsley, defending, read a note from the defendant apologising to his victim and family.Judge Carol Hagen said: "It is significant in my view that someone was sufficiently concerned to say you should be taken to secure accommodation."Sadly for your victim and you, you were not. That's a great pity because this offence would not have occurred.

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