Attacker sentenced to 10 years after man's face sliced open during unprovoked attack in Wrexham

Reporter:

Court Reporter

A man’s face was sliced open during an unprovoked attack in broad-daylight in Wrexham.

The hooded attacker rushed through shoppers with his head down and set upon his victim from behind.

Mold Crown Court heard that victim William Thomas needed 40 stitches to the face, had been left with a permanent scar and had since decided to move home, fearing repercussions.

Samuel Christopher Jones, just 22 but branded a dangerous man, ran straight to the local police station after the attack and hid in the toilets.

There a knife and a pair of scissors were later recovered.

Judge Niclas Parry, who said the wound to the victim’s face was one of the worst he had ever seen, imposed an extended sentence of 10 years on Jones, of no fixed address, who had a horrendous record for violence.

He must serve six years in custody and his licence period was extended for four years to protect the public.

Jones, who admitted a charge of wounding with intent to cause GBH following the attack on September 5, was branded “an extremely violent and extremely dangerous young man”.

Judge Parry said that in full view of the public one September morning in Wrexham he went out armed, intent on revenge for what he believed was a betrayal by the victim, a former friend.

“You walked with purpose, head down and hood up, focused on him, brushing others to one side,” the judge told him.

He was clearly looking for confrontation and from behind, lunged at his victim with his
arm raised.

“You sliced his face open,” the judge said.

The attacker ran away still shouting “I will put this in you” before locking himself in the police station toilet.

Judge Parry told him: “The wound you caused was deep. To describe it as an appalling gaping wound would be an understatement.

“It has left him with a large, permanent, obvious scar, the left side of his face is numb. 0The effect on him has been life changing.”

He struggled to shave and to smile properly.

Judge Parry said that it was an unprovoked attack with a weapon, which was clearly pre-meditated by a man who had a shocking criminal record for one so young – 14 common assaults, seven ABHs and at the time was on licence after his release from serving a sentence for wounding.

Prosecuting barrister John Philpotts said that the two men knew each other for two years.

They initially met in prison and while the attack appeared motiveless, the victim thought Jones believed that he had told the police of his whereabouts.

On the morning of September 5 he was walking in Wrexham town centre with his partner, they joined another couple, and at the time of the attack he was standing with his silver mountain bike speaking to his friend.

“He was standing on the pavement when he suddenly felt a pain to his left ear,” said Mr Philpotts.

On turning around he saw the defendant who made a slashing movement in a downward motion across his face.

He felt a sharp pain across his cheek and knew immediately that he had been slashed with a sharp item.

Mr Thomas threw two punches to defend himself, the defendant returned punches before running off down Chester Street.

The victim gave chase, but the defendant stood with his hand clenched holding something and shouted “I will put this in you.”

Again he ran off followed by the victim.

Jones ran straight to the police station where he was asked to come out of the toilets and to put the knife down.

He said he did not have a knife, but a penknife and a pair of scissors were later recovered from the toilet and the knife had his DNA on it.

The victim’s wound had been stitched under local anaesthetic and was shown in a photograph.

In a victim impact statement Mr Thomas said that he had become increasingly paranoid since the attack and would not walk in to Wrexham town centre and now suffered depression.

Defending barrister Duncan Bould said that his client had been in the care system since the age of 14, it had been a very negative experience for him, and he had been in 40 different placements in different parts of the country.

The vast majority of his convictions when younger were linked to his time in care and he would say were a reaction to how he was treated.

He had been under attack and had been subjected to violence. It was “a genuinely sad case” of someone formed in a way which was not positive by the care system while growing up.

Mr Bould said that it was appreciated that he was now an adult and he did accept full responsibility for his actions.

He had never worked and had never experienced a home or domestic setting where he did not feel threatened or at risk of harm to himself.

Mr Bould said that the defendant wanted to show that he could change, he had for the first time been able to show a particular interest in catering, and that could provide him with an opportunity for the future.

He accepted it had to be a significant sentence, but Mr Bould asked the court not to impose an extended sentence.

Following the case, Det Sergeant Anne-Louise Jones at Wrexham CID said: “Jones is a prolific offender and his significant incarceration will I’m sure bring a degree of relief to many in the local community as well as his last victim who he violently attacked in broad daylight in Wrexham town centre. It’s only by good fortune his injuries weren’t more serious.

“Those in our communities who carry knifes must realise there is a consequence to their actions. Knifes can inflict terrible injuries and it is reassuring to see the courts acknowledging such in the sentence handed out.

“Our message is a simple one, please don’t carry knifes and if you are concerned about those in our community who do then let us know. Wrexham is a safer place with Jones behind bars.

“Fortunately, crimes of this nature are rare in the area and together with our local communities we must ensure it remains so. However we can’t tackle this problem alone and key to all our work, and that of our partners, is intelligence and I cannot emphasise enough the importance of sharing concerns with us. Information can be passed to police via the web live chat www.north-wales.police.uk/contact/chat-support.aspx or phoning 101. If you would rather pass information anonymously then phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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news@nwn.co.uk

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