Man who admits Ferryhill stabbing apologises to victim after receiving suspended prison sentence (From The Northern Echo)
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Man who admits Ferryhill stabbing apologises to victim after receiving suspended prison sentence
A WOULD-BE Good Samaritan who stabbed a man six times after intervening in a violent dispute, today (Tuesday March 19) spoke of his relief after walking free from court.
William Edward Wetherell said he wanted to apologise to his victim who suffered a punctured lung and spent a night in hospital undergoing surgery after the incident, which shocked shoppers on market day in Ferryhill, County Durham.
The 65-year-old former soldier and joiner, who has no previous convictions, conceded he over-reacted on seeing two young men apparently chasing an older person following heated exchanges in the town centre, in late morning on Friday, September 21.
Wetherell, who carried a lock knife “for protection”, used it to inflict several blows on one of the younger men involved in the confrontation, in an alleyway alongside the Post House pub.
Durham Crown Court heard that he stopped the attack on seeing the 57-year-old older man, who he believed was being assaulted by the other pair, getting up from the ground.
Wetherell walked away and the 57-year-old man involved was arrested, initially suspected of carrying out the attack.
But, having returned home to drop off his shopping, Wetherell told his wife he had to go to the police station where he handed himself in, admitting he was responsible for the injuries, and giving an officer the knife.
Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said Wetherell told police he believed the older man was being chased by two youths and so went to his aid.
Wetherell, of Church Lane, Ferryhill, denied wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, but admitted the lesser offence of unlawful wounding.
Mr Dryden said having consulted police, the reviewing lawyer and the injured man, the pleas were considered “acceptable”.
Tom Moran, mitigating, said Wetherell, who knew none of those involved, was angry for getting involved and causing the problems he had for his wife and family.
He is now planning to move away from Ferryhill, said Mr Moran.
Judge Brian Forster said he accepted Wetherell believed the older man was coming under attack.
But he told him: “The court has to make it clear that no-one should carry a knife for protection.
“The risk in doing so is that you became involved in an incident just like the one I’m dealing with, and the knife is produced and used, with consequences which could be disastrous.”
He imposed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months during which Wetherell will be subject to probation supervision.
Speaking after the hearing a relieved Wetherell said: “Of course I regret getting involved and I want to apologise to the lad involved.
“It’s not something I’ll be doing again.”
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