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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Carlisle man jailed for scissors stabbing

A man has been jailed for more than five years after stabbing his ex-girlfriend’s partner with a pair of scissors.

A judge at Carlisle Crown Court ruled that the premeditation shown by Barry Coleman prior to the attack on January 22, coupled with his intent to cause serious injury, left her with no doubt about the severity.

The 30-year-old, of Marks Avenue, Raffles, had previously admitted one charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and a separate count of possessing a bladed article in a public place, at Garden Street, Etterby.

Prosecutor Becky McGregor told the court that Coleman had been sending abusive messages to his ex-girlfriend over a period of two weeks after the couple split up and she resumed a relationship with Paul Elliott, the father of her child.

On the night in question, Mr Elliott had called Coleman and an argument ensued. Following this, the defendant grabbed a pair of scissors and had gone to confront Mr Elliott with the intention of hurting him.

The court was told how Coleman “lunged” at his victim, stabbing him straight through his left hand so the blade was visible out the other side. He then tried again, repeatedly, to further injure Mr Elliott.

At this point, Miss McGregor said, Mr Elliott grabbed a hammer from the house and struck Coleman over the head in defence.

The victim needed a two-hour operation to repair his hand, and still suffers some numbness in the fingers.

Mark Shepherd, defending, said his client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had “completely exonerated” Mr Elliott of any wrongdoing himself.

He said Coleman had accepted full responsibility for the assault, and hoped that by being jailed he would allow Mr Elliott to carry on his relationship and be a family with his child.

In relation to the blade, which was found in Coleman’s jacket, Mr Shepherd said his client had forgotten it was there.

He described it as “having rust on the side and no handle” and said Coleman had previously used it as a screwdriver for opening a window.

Sentencing him, Judge Barbara Forrester told Coleman: “Fortunately for you, the injury to his hand, while nasty, was not serious.

“However, I take the view you deliberately went round to that house with scissors intending to cause him really serious harm.”

She said the sentencing guidelines, taking into account his culpability, saw he starting point for sentencing at eight years.

However, he received a discount for his early guilty plea and was sentenced to five years and four months.

He was given a further 12-month prison sentence for possessing the blade, but this was to be served concurrently. The court heard he had a number of previous convictions.

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