A MAN who went on a stabbing rampage armed with a knife in both hands in the centre of Wigton in broad daylight has been jailed for 20 years.

Richard John Moulton, 50, appeared via video link at Durham Crown Court yesterday and was sentenced for his attacks, which left three people injured - two seriously.

The court first heard of the impact of the July 31 attacks on the two most seriously injured in the attack. Moulton, who admitted attempted murder, could be seen crying as the prosecution evidence was read out in court.

Tim Evans, prosecuting, said: “The two victims of the most serious offences - Thomas Ismay and Peter Ostle – who were friends, were standing outside the Pearl City Chinese takeaway chatting.”

He outlined that Mr Ostle had been talking with his friend “Tommy” Ismay about the funeral of a mutual friend, prior to the random attacks.

His statement described seeing a bald man walking across the road towards the pair. The man described was Moulton.

“You take that,” Moulton said to Mr Ismay as he stabbed him.

After stabbing him twice in the chest, Moulton walked away.

“I’ve been punched,” Mr Ismay said to his friend, unaware at the time he’d been stabbed.

It was after an exchange with Mr Ostle that Mr Ismay realised the true extent of the attack.

Following the brief encounter with Moulton, previously of Redmayne Court in the town, the court heard, Mr Ostle realised he too had been stabbed.

At this joint moment of realisation, the two friends made their way towards the Spotted Cow Café on King Street, but didn’t go in.

“Can somebody get the police and ambulance. We’ve both been stabbed,” they told onlookers.

First aid was then administered and emergency services called. Both men were taken by air ambulance to hospital.

“Following hospital treatment it was established that Mr Ostle had been stabbed to two parts of his chest with an injury to the sternum with a haematoma which was still bleeding and a smaller cut to the rib cage.” said Mr Evans

Mr Ismay recalled that he could ‘literally see my stomach hanging out, it was right there held in my hands,’ recounted Mr Evans from the statement.

After attacking Mr Ismay and Mr Ostle, Moulton then made his way towards Gill Lloyd, who was a first-time visitor to the town.

She had visited the town for a coffee with her husband, when Moulton “flicked” one of the knives towards the woman, which she batted away with a rucksack. She soon realised she had an injury to her left hand.

After not seeing the knife initially, Mr Lloyd described seeing Moulton with two knives - one in each hand.

Following the third and final attack, Moulton headed towards the Greenacres estate area of Wigton where he saw a man he had known since school.

Moulton told Mark Burns he’d done “bad things”, also explaining that he’d lost his job and was about to be kicked out of his flat.

He also told Mr Burns that he’d stabbed two people.

Police then arrived and demanded that Moulton dropped the knives, which he did.

Moulton was then arrested and made a number of comments, including “things got too much for me” and “I have lost everything”.

Mr Evans continued: “When told he was being arrested for assault he prophetically commented: “attempted murder I hope”.

In police interviews Moulton said he could not really remember the stabbings and that he had been hearing voices. He also talked about other mental health problems.

Moulton had admitted one charge of attempting to murder Peter Ostle, one of grievous bodily harm with intent, against Thomas Ismay one of actual bodily harm against Gillian Lloyd and two counts of possession of a bladed article in a public place at Carlisle Crown Court on October 25.

Judith McCullough, defending, told the court her defendant had pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity.

“He accepts the seriousness of the offences. He’s had mental health problems, which came to a head by the death of his beloved brother.

“Mental health may well have played a part. He has very little recollection of that day. He wants to understand why he did what he did, as much as anyone else does.”

Mrs McCullough continued: “This defendant is - in my submission - genuinely remorseful. I would ask for mercy given the circumstances of this case.”

Sentencing, Judge Adkin said: “On July 31 you armed yourself with two kitchen knives and went on a rampage.”

He added: “You are clearly a dangerous offender.”

Struggle with aftermath

THE two most seriously injured victims in the brutal and random town centre attacks in July spoke of how they’ve struggled to come to terms with the horrifying attack.

Prosecutor Tim Evans read out witness statements to Durham Crown Court yesterday, revealing the heartbreaking aftermath of Richard Moulton’s attacks.

Summarising the victim personal statement given by one of the victims, Thomas Ismay, a 63-year-old Wigton man, Mr Evans said: “Since he has been has been out of hospital, he says he hasn’t been out of his front door.

“He knows that people will make a fuss and he doesn’t want to keep going over it all again. He was putting something out in the dustbin the other day and someone walked past and said hello. He jumped out of his skin.

“He has become a lot more nervous and anxious. He is shaking all the time and has to be careful when walking that he doesn’t lose his balance.

“He says he has lost his confidence and feels he cannot go up the street as he doesn’t know how he would react.”

The prosecutor added that Mr Ismay has only been out in the car once since the attack and has trouble sleeping since that terrifying day.

In his second statement, Mr Ismay says he will never be the same again.

Mr Ismay’s friend, Peter Ostle, 71, the second of three victims in the case, has also been left emotionally and physically scarred by the incident.

Again summarising the statement, Mr Evans told the court: “He has been placed under a great stress following this incident, an example of this is every time he sees a bald man he feels apprehensive about what might happen.

“This is because he says his only residing memory of the male who stabbed him is that he was a bald man.

“He also says following this he can no longer cross the road where he saw the male cross the road when he was walking towards him, the other day he had to walk round the block to post a letter when the letter box was only the other side of the road, as he could not face crossing over the road at that location.”

According to Mr Evans, Mr Ostle has since suffered from nightmares of helicopter blades spinning from his trip in the air ambulance to hospital.

Although, said Mr Evans, this is something which has faded with time. Mr Ostle also said in his statement that he still has constant pain every day and prevents him from doing the things he once took for granted.

Once a man who would ride his bike everywhere, he is yet to ride on it since. This inability to ride his bike, he says, has left him feeling isolated.