A CHESTER schoolboy aged 15 has been locked up for four years after he admitted stabbing a classmate in a “frenzied attack”.

It was said the Queen’s Park High pupil had become obsessed with his victim and repeatedly plunged a blade into his back, head and neck following a heated argument after lessons.

But the defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed he had only resorted to violence because he was being bullied by the boy, aged 14.

The “horrific” assault, which happened near the Old Dee Bridge in Handbridge on June 20 this year, sent shockwaves through the community at the time.

Chester Crown Court heard today (Friday, November 29) that it was only halted when a female witness intervened.

The victim was rushed to hospital with numerous knife wounds, including one to the head that fractured his skull and another 7cm deep that punctured his lung.

In emotional scenes, the mother of the victim read out a statement in court outlining the toll the ordeal had taken on her and her son.

Describing it as “every parent’s worst nightmare”, she said: “[My son] thought he was going to die.

“He was alone and just wanted to call me and his brother because he didn’t want to die alone. The thought of [his] fear and loneliness in those moments keeps me awake at night.”

She added: “Following the attack on [my son] I can’t predict what I’m going to be afraid of so I have to be afraid of everything. It is exhausting and puts me in a constant state of anxiety and fear.

“[My son] has refused to talk about what happened to him. He wants to bury the trauma and I’m afraid of the psychological consequences of this.”

The defendant was originally charged with attempted murder but pleaded guilty to a less serious offence of wounding with intent and carrying a knife.

Sentencing him, Judge Steven Everett said: “If [the victim] had died that would be murder and I would now be passing a sentence of detention for life.

“You did a terrible thing and those were dreadfully serious injuries from which he could have died. Just think long and hard about what you’ve heard today, that heart-rending victim personal statement. That family may never get over this as a result of your actions.”

The defendant was sentenced to four years in custody, which will be spent in a secure unit for young offenders. He was also made the subject of a five-year-restraining order meaning he is forbidden from contacting the victim or his family and is banned from certain areas of Chester.

Outlining the case, prosecuting barrister Anya Horwood told the court there had been “issues” between the two pupils with one claiming he had been “propositioned” and the other alleging he had been bullied.

On the day of the attack, teachers had been alerted to an argument after a lesson during which the defendant had thrown a plastic bin at the victim, who then called him an offensive name.

The defendant then returned to his home, had a brief conversation with his mother, grabbed a kitchen knife and headed back out, joining two friends.

They walked towards Old Dee Bridge, where a witness sitting on a bench saw him produce the knife, visibly angry, and launch a “frenzied, violent attack”.

“The defendant was heard to say ‘get away, I’m going to f***ing stab you’,” Miss Horwood said.

“Punches were thrown by both before the defendant was seen to hold the knife in the air before bringing it down in repeated stabbing motions to the head, neck and upper back.”

The female witness, who had been on the phone to her partner, then intervened and told the defendant to stop as he would “ruin his life”. He then dropped the knife and ran away.

A number of people then came to the victim’s aid, followed by a police officer and paramedic. His shirt was said to be soaked with blood and his speech became slurred due to the blood loss.

He was rushed first to the Countess of Chester Hospital for emergency treatment before being transferred to Alder Hey in Liverpool for surgery.

Meanwhile, police officers had arrested the defendant who had “emerged from some bushes” and asked if he was in trouble, adding: “I don’t want my mum to find out”.

Owen Edwards, defending, said his client’s best mitigation was his guilty plea.

“The only person to blame for this incident is [the defendant] and that’s the most important point to make,” he told the court. “The consequences of his actions could have been far worse.”

The barrister said there had been a “background in which [the defendant] felt bullied”, although the level of response was “not merited”.

His client had mental health issues and was a young person with “considerable difficulties”. However, he was now making good academic progress with the one-to-one supervision in custody.

“His decision to take that knife ruined his life,” Mr Edwards said. “His decision to use that knife ruined the lives of two families.

“The only thing left to say is he is sorry – sorry to [the victim] and sorry to the court.”

The victim’s mother had alluded to “victim-blaming” abuse her son had received on Facebook, prompting Judge Everett to warn of the dangers of social media.

“I don’t know what the answer is but it is starting to become one of the evils of our society,” the judge said.

“It is important to stress that whatever the issues between them, nobody should point the finger at [the victim].”

He also issued a further warning on the perils of carrying knives, describing them as weapons that are “always loaded”, unlike guns.

“They are without a doubt becoming one of the scourges of today’s society,” he said. “All too often we hear about that.”

Judge Everett explained that he was bound by the law in terms of the length of sentence he can impose and could not “pluck a number from thin air”.

An adult convicted of the same crime would be jailed for eight years, he said, but the law required him to halve the sentence on account of the defendant’s age.

The defendant will spend half of his four-year sentence in custody and half in the community on licence.

Before sending him down, the judge said: “You have a chance to make something of your life. I’m hoping your victim has a chance to make something of his life as well.”

  • Following the hearing, Chief Inspector Steve Griffiths, of Chester Local Policing Unit, said: “This is yet another example of why people shouldn’t carry knives.

“The offender took a knife from his house whilst angry and upset following an incident that occurred in school that day.

“By arming himself with the knife and using it against the younger schoolboy he’d had an altercation with in class he has done untold damage to the victim’s life, his own life and the lives of their loved ones.

“The victim is lucky to have survived the extensive serious injuries he sustained during the shocking incident that occurred after school.

“The consequences of this incident could have been even worse.

“Thankfully the boy is now back home recovering from the ordeal and, although he will never be able to forget about what happened to him that day, I hope that the culmination of this case provides him with some closure and enables him to move forward with his life.

“I also hope that the case deters others from carrying and using knives.

“I would like to thank the members of the community who helped the victim after he had been stabbed and then acted as witnesses in the investigation.

“They played an important role in both ensuring that the victim received the required medical attention in his time of need and securing the conviction of the boy responsible for his injuries.”

Sarah Heath, Cheshire Constabulary’s superintendent for tackling weapons and reducing serious harm, added: “Although we have one of the lowest rates of knife crime in England, Cheshire is no stranger to the devastating consequences the use of knives can have for victims, offenders and their families and friends.

“In this case, the offender and the victim were both teenage boys in secondary school.

“We work closely with partners, the third sector, youth representatives and community members to create a structured approach to collectively address the complex issues associated with knife crime.

“We have also implemented longer term strategies to empower communities and support young people through education and intervention.

“We will continue to work together in a bid to make Cheshire knife free.

“To achieve that goal we need the public’s continued help and support.

“We all have a responsibility to help young people fulfil their potential and not carry or use knives or any other weapon.”

To report any type of crime involving weapons call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Information can also be passed to the force online via https://www.cheshire.police.uk

Anyone who knows someone that carries a knife or any other weapon can report it to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.